Introduction and overview

Gradations of legality and illegality of THC

Foodstuffs containing THC below the limits may be produced, sold and consumed. The permitted (very low) limits are specified in an ordinance.
Hemp flowers with less than 1 % THC may be consumed freely. When selling as smoked products, the corresponding packaging regulations must be observed.

Quasi-legal: the penalty-free small amount of cannabis

The possession of up to 10 grams of cannabis for personal use as well as for simultaneous, commonseeds and gratuitous use among adults is not punishable (use, however, is always punishable). Quasi legal in the field of narcotics (in the case of hemp: from 1 % THC content) are therefore only the preparations for the first consumption until just before consumption. Actually, an unpunishable amount may not be confiscated, nevertheless this happens practically always.
According to the law, no punishment possible (was almost always ignored by the police until 2017).

Little illegal: Police detected consumption (with a maximum of 10 grams)

Consumption detected by the police can be punished with an administrative fine of 100 francs (adults only). There is no increase of the fine in case of repetition and also no fees, so this is equivalent to wrong parking. One is allowed to possess a maximum of 10 grams of illegal hemp products (which are always confiscated in these cases). Whoever possesses more or commits further offences will be reported.
Transgression, punished by police: administrative fine

Normal illegal: private consumption and preparations for it

Consumption that the police have not detected but can prove must be dealt with in the ordinary procedure, as must possession of more than 10 grams for personal use. The police draw up a report with the facts of the case and report the person concerned. The criminal authorities then issue a penalty order: Fines and fees cost 200 to 1,000 francs. A person who is reported several times can always receive higher fines and fees.
Offences punished by the authorities: fines and fees

Strongly illegal: passing and selling as well as THC and driving a car

As soon as a THC product with at least 1% THC changes hands, this is passing on and an offence. Selling it is not necessary, giving it away is enough. Passing a joint to a juvenile is also a misdemeanor, as is driving with THC in your blood.
Those who make a living from trafficking and get caught get a minimum sentence of one year and are considered a serious case. In a repeat case, this can result in prison sentences of several years.
Misdemeanor: Fine, costs, fine or imprisonment, repayment of profits, criminal record.

With exemption permits (for doctor, patient, manufacturer and distributor), there is a legal medical use for THC-rich products, especially for serious illnesses.

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THC use is still subject to criminal prosecution

Many joints without consequences...

Most cannabis users can smoke pot without the state noticing. The vast majority of joints burn down peacefully without being confiscated by the police. If you search, you will find weed or hash, be it on the street, in private circles or on the internet.

Those who have never been prosecuted for THC use may ask themselves: Is there any repression against smoking pot in Switzerland at all?

The answer, unfortunately, is clearly yes. In fact, it is a big part of the whole state repression. The narcotics law is a harsh law. If you think you are safe and then, through carelessness or bad luck, have to deal with police violence, you can be shocked at how you are treated.

...but tens of thousands of people affected every year...

The official prosecutionfigures are alarmingly high: more than 35,000 people were prosecuted for hemp in 2019. They were accused of more than 40,000 illegal acts related to consumption and trafficking. If we assume a few hundred thousand THC users in Switzerland, around 10 percent are bothered by the police, the public prosecutor's office or the courts every year.

Yes, the prosecution of THC in Switzerland exists and the range of punishment is wide (warning to 20 years imprisonment). This is what we want to show with our legal aid brochure and, above all, to clarify the conditions that apply to the gradations of legality and illegality of THC: so that everyone is prepared. Because when it happens, one is confronted with an organized apparatus that can book all investigative actions as paid working time, while the persons concerned defend themselves in their free time and (if guilty) also have to pay the investigation costs as well as the fine.

Inform yourself before a procedure

Many decisive facts are set in motion at the very beginning of a trial, and one's own testimony in particular is an important element. Here, everyone should always think very carefully about what they want to admit or conceal.

For this, THC-users have to think about the legal consequences of smoking pot before the first police contact, which will probably happen sooner or later. Otherwise you will get yourself and your environment deeper into the mess than absolutely necessary. Because: Shit happens…

Anyone who has dealt with this in advance and developed a strategy will be better able to deal with prosecution.

Terms in our wiki (with links to wikipedia)

Latin for Hemp
Dioecious Plant species, which produces male and female plants
and produces the active ingredient THC, mainly in the resin.
Dried female Hemp flowers
Resin the hemp plant (obtained from weed)
Smoking pot / THC use
Smoke hash/weed, eat, drink or vaporize or inhale.
Smokers / THC users
People who ingest hemp containing THC
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)
This is the main active ingredient in hemp and, according to the law, determines whether a substance is illegal.
Products with at least 1.0% THC are prohibited narcotics. Hash is illegal regardless of the THC content. weed and hash contain about 5 to 20 % THC.
THC levels can also be measured in the blood.
THC-carboxylic acid (THC-COOH)
An Degradation product of THC in the metabolism and not psychoactive. Rapid tests detect this substance in urine.
Measured in the blood, it indicates the amount of THC consumed.
Misdemeanor or felony?
An infraction is the smallest illegal act and is punishable by an administrative fine or a fine.
A misdemeanor is more serious and results in a fine, a fine in daily rates or imprisonment and an entry in the criminal record (removal usually after 10 years).
Misdemeanors expire after 3, misdemeanors after 10 or 15 years.
Conditional and unconditional sentence
A conditional fine or custodial sentence is not enforced, but a review is carried out over a few years to see whether the convicted person will reoffend.
In this case, a court may declare the sentence unconditional and enforce it.

en/thc_recht/einleitung.txt · Last modified: 2021/04/17 21:08 (external edit)
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