Attention. This text refers to the interpretation of the legal situation until 30.6.2011.


What does the federal court say about this?

"Hemp herb for narcotic production".

This wording caused quite a stir around the turn of the millennium. Because these words in the list of prohibited substances actually mean nothing else than that for example hemp herb, as long as it does not serve the production of narcotics, does not fall under this law (and is therefore legal). The unclear law then had to be interpreted by the judges, as in the case of the two articles 19 a) 2. and 19 b) described on the next page.

However, if a court considered seized material to be narcotics, then the total prohibition mentioned at the beginning applies. And then, of course, the high penalties apply (even mere consumption can be punished with imprisonment, and in the case of commercial handling there is a minimum of 12 months in prison). Therefore, a certain caution is certainly not out of place when you deal with hash or weed.

The cultivation of hemp is free in Switzerland. There is no place where one could obtain a permit: Nobody is authorized to issue such a permit, because the cultivation is completely free - as long as it does not serve the production of narcotics. Then - and only then - the cultivation of hemp is forbidden and completely forbidden! This “legal and illegal at the same time” is found everywhere with the hemp: The seeds, the living plant and also dried parts including the flowers are legal and illegal, because: The intended use decides.

An example

So if someone has some hemp seeds with him, is controlled and then states: “I want to put these seeds into the ground to smoke the flowers in autumn after drying”, the seeds are illegal because they serve the preparation of narcotic production. However, if the same person says about the same facts in a reasonably credible way: “I want to grow ornamental plants in my garden from these seeds ” or “these seeds are a food, I want to eat them in my muesli”, then the seeds are legal. Unless the police can prove otherwise.

Exactly the same game with flowers. For example, if they are used to flavor hemp beer (and the resulting beer meets the regulations regarding very low THC content), then those flowers are legal, even if it's five tons.

Evidence is needed

But if the police can prove otherwise, then they are illegal. They try to do this by gathering circumstantial evidence that can prove illegal use. Usually, quite <strong>little</strong> circumstantial evidence and plausibility is enough for a conviction to occur in court. Depending on the situation, joint stubs, torn open scent bags with remains of opened cigarettes, dried weed next to mixers, smoking devices of all kinds with hemp residues, also relevant criminal records, high prices for little flowers, “high” THC content of the flowers (over 0.3%), hashish production paraphernalia and much more can serve as evidence.

The decision lies with the court

Thus, there are legal hemp products and illegal hemp products. Where exactly the border between legal and illegal runs, must ultimately be clarified in a court decision under appreciation of all circumstances. Until such a judicial clarification, however, legal hemp can remain confiscated, as well as money and other paraphernalia can remain seized. Only with a legally binding verdict, these things will be returned, if they have turned out to be legal in the verdict. Otherwise, they are destroyed. The federal court can be found at

Attention. This text refers to the interpretation of the legal situation until 30.6.2011.

Last modified: 2024/03/27 08:56

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