The hemp initiative without a chance?

The National Council does not want to know anything about the hemp initiative. The right blames THC consumption for a large part of suicides, car accidents, acts of violence and dissolved apprenticeship contracts, while it continues to regard alcohol trafficking as a respectable business.

The National Council discussed the hemp initiative in December 2007. As expected, it does not want to support this petition for a referendum - and made this very clear in the vote with 106 votes against 70 and three abstentions.


The CVP repeated the false argument that the THC content of today's cannabis is much higher than in the 70s. Sure, if you compare today's weed with back then, the content has increased a lot. But in the 70s there was almost no weed. Everybody smoked hash - and much better hash than can be found on the black market today. So if anything, one would have to compare today's weed with hash back then. But that seems to be too much for our politics. And: Just if it would be legal, the policy could fix a THC maximum or a differentiated taxation according to THC content.

The Greens

The Greens pointed out the high costs of senseless consumer prosecution. They do want to enable legal consumption, but not as a free pass, but with clear rules and also sanctions. Above all, they want to transform the black market into a legal, controlled market.


The SVP saw cannabis as a great evil - there is no need for legalization, but: “The ban on hashish must be consistently enforced”.


The SP pointed out the contradiction that the same parliament is focusing on personal responsibility in the case of alcohol, because it is sacred to many and recognized as an economic good. The most persistent opposition to cannabis is found among the anti-68ers, who are still fighting against the social upheaval of the 1970s and think that cannabis is a suitable target. In fact, it is absurd to see that almost only the parliamentary left is in favor of legalization, while among today's consumers (besides a majority of apolitical consumers who never vote), there are probably as many bourgeois as left-wing THC users. Anyway, we have all of them in our association: The left-wing social worker, the liberal banker, the apolitical IV pensioner, the bourgeois young entrepreneur, the individualistic old hippie, the cramping craftsman, the hedonistic accountant - from left-green to bourgeois or even apolitical. THC enjoyment runs through the whole of society.


The “liberal” members of the FDP, on the other hand, were only in favor of this cause in a small, albeit committed, minority. The majority, on the other hand, showed no sign of being liberal or even liberal-minded.

The handling decides

Furthermore, the SP, like all addiction experts, points out that it is not the substance (i.e. alcohol or cannabis) that is the problem, but how it is used: A little, a lot, in a moderate way or mixed with many other drugs. That is where the problems lie. One can agree with that. Even if we consider THC to be a low-risk substance compared to alcohol, we still see people overdoing it with cannabis. The main problem with smoking pot is still smoking - but the smokers themselves know that best. And: We also have non-smoking THC-users as members. But this is already beyond the horizon of our politics…

Opportunity principle

The CVP would be in favor of an opportunity principle, but it wants to retain the fundamental punishability of consumption. In other words, punishment is a must, but it doesn't have to be an exorbitant penalty. Like in St. Gallen, where one with less than 5 grams in the bag “only” pays a fine of 50 francs (if one is an adult).

A liberal project

Josef Lang from the Green Group summed it up best: The initiative is not a left-wing project, but a liberal one. Self-damaging actions must not be punished and to the hemp advocates: “All the arguments you have brought forward for a hemp ban also speak for an alcohol ban. But they have legalized absinthe…

Last modified: 2024/03/27 08:56

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Legal overview

Shit happens 15 (Summer 2023)

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