Spring 2020: A first new accent in the newly elected parliament

The back and forth around the dispensing of hemp in pilot projects continues, round after round. This time the surprise was the demand for organic hemp. We are curious about the next steps in this long-running theater.

Cannabis pilot testing

Back story: the old Commission for Social Security and Health of the National Council (SGK-N) had, after all, rejected cannabis pilot testing in November 2019.

The new parliament at work

However, the newly composed National Council voted to approve this bill at its meeting on 10.12.19: 100 wanted to discuss the pilot projects; 85 were against; two abstained. This is the first hemp vote in the newly appointed parliament and therefore we want to take a closer look at the numbers.

Acceptance of the pilot projects bill

Group for this against it Abstentions
SP 37 0 0
Green 28 0 0
GLP 14 0 0
FDP 15 12 0
Center 6 20 2
SVP 0 53 0

We see the old pattern confirmed in hemp votes: SP, Greens and GLP united in favor, the FDP split, in the new center fraction (a merger of BDP, CVP and EVP) a few yes votes especially from the BDP (large majority but a clear rejection) and the SVP completely in the opposing camp.

Despite the decision in favor: The numerical ratio is not really exhilarating. 53% were in favor of at least debating the bill, 45% did not even want that. After the detailed deliberations, when it comes to deciding whether this change to NarcA should take place, it could be extremely close. Normally, more people are in favor of talking about it than of accepting the bill once all the details are clear.

And above all: This is only about the possibility to carry out very limited studies. That is still miles away from decriminalization. A majority for such steps seems doubtful in this numerical ratio, even in the new National Council.

Swiss organic hemp

Because the National Council had so decided, the business went back to the commission for the detailed discussion. The newly composed SGK-N has now voted on 31.1.20 for the pilot projects, with 17 to 8 votes even clearly (68 % yes).

However, it introduced a new aspect into the discussion. It demands that only Swiss organic hemp should be used for these pilot projects (by 13 votes to 7 with 4 abstentions).

Much of the weed (CBD or THC) today is grown indoors under artificial light. This would not be possible for the pilot projects: According to “Bio Suisse” guidelines, hors-sol cultivation is not allowed, in pots only limited, synthetic fertilizers and pesticides are prohibited, lamps may only be used in special cases.

Greenhouse cultivation is possible in accordance with “Bio Suisse”, although heating is restricted (up to 5 °C, with good insulation up to 10 °C).

Detailed discussion in the National Council

Now the business comes to the National Council for detailed discussion. This session is scheduled for 16.3.20 (as of mid-February). It will deal with some minority motions from the commission, which demand a further tightening of the conditions for such tests (information of employers and schools about participation). ⇒ Details at parlament.ch, 19.021

Hemp out of the NarcA

A separate hemp law has been demanded in parliament on several occasions, so far without success. At present, the following issues are pending:
⇒ Heinz Siegenthaler (BDP): “Equal treatment of cannabis and high-proof alcohol”, 18.3150
⇒ Beat Flach (GLP): “Legalize cannabis and generate tax substrate for AHV/IV”, 18.4009

The association Cannabis Consensus Switzerland has meanwhile published two newsletters. If you want to receive this information directly, you can sign up for it at www.cannabis-consensus.ch.

We are looking for active people for different working groups (fundraising, regulation model, communication, initiative text, cantonal coordination and signature collection).

The next general assembly is planned for the end of June, at which the results of the working groups will be presented.

Hemp as medicine

The consultation period ended at the end of 2019 and the evaluation of the responses has also already taken place.

The Federal Council is now preparing the dispatch for parliament. Some clarifications still seem to be necessary for this.

It is likely that the business will be referred to parliament in mid-2020. Then the deliberations will begin (in the two commissions and the two chambers of parliament), which will certainly take a year.

Online petition: Not punishable shall not be punishable

Two of our members, Ruth and Silvia, have started an online petition. This is about the law article NarcA 19b and its possible interpretations. It is about limiting the prosecution of the consumers.

There is still zero tolerance for consumption, although private consumption could be tolerated to a certain extent. There is a federal court decision on this, but the law enforcement authorities are not sufficiently interested.

Those who are caught with less than 10g of cannabis (usually) no longer have criminal proceedings on their hands, but the cannabis is still confiscated. This confiscation is questioned by the Federal Court.

The petition is intended to put pressure on those responsible to follow the landmark Federal Court decisions and accept the original interpretation of the said article of the law.

Further information: www.hanfmuseum.ch/politik
The petition to sign can be found here: www.openpetition.eu/19b

Last modified: 2024/03/27 08:56

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Shit happens 15 (Summer 2023)

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