Don't we have a right to smoke pot?

What does our federal constitution mean?

The narcotics law in force today is based on Article 118 of our Federal Constitution:

“The Confederation shall (…) take measures to protect health. It shall issue regulations on: the handling of foodstuffs as well as medicinal products, narcotics, (…) which may endanger health.”

Here is actually nothing of a total ban, as we know it from the narcotics law. It says something about taking measures, issuing regulations. And the Federal Court has already stated many years ago (1991) that THC products are not suitable to bring the health of many people in an obvious danger. Hash and weed are, next to coffee, the most harmless psychoactive substances that people know and have used for thousands of years. To pronounce a total ban against such substances is not only factually wrong, but also violates other basic rights as they are written in our constitution.

Equality of rights requires: “Legislative authorities must treat equal things equally and unequal things unequally according to their equality.

Since alcohol, tobacco and many medicines are legally available and have much worse effects than THC use, THC products should not be more tightly controlled, but should be more easily accessible.

Prohibition of discrimination

The prohibition of discrimination states: “All persons are equal before the law. No one may be discriminated against, in particular not because of (…) the way of life”.

Someone who smokes pot does not endanger anyone else, at most himself. So we have a right to smoke pot, as long as we behave decently. And this is where society could intervene: it could prohibit consumption in certain places; prohibit consumption together with young people; collect any social costs through taxation; establish regulations on sales. It could regulate all of that. But to simply discriminate against us THC users compared to alcohol users - that's not really possible.

How to claim these rights?

You can challenge your fine for smoking pot all the way to the federal court, but this is associated with costs of thousands francs if you lose - and that is the rule. Therefore, the beautiful rights in our federal constitution (if you read it through it sounds really good!), are hardly worth the paper on which they are written.

But in the long run we are optimistic: Our view of things will prevail. However, this may take another ten or twenty years, because the drug discussion is very ideological. Anyone who compares the various drugs in an unbiased way sees the potential dangers that can arise from THC use in the low, low range. Alcohol obviously causes massively greater problems - and yet it is legal.

Last modified: 2024/03/27 08:56

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Legal overview

Shit happens 15 (Summer 2023)

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