Switzerland: Nation Decriminalizes Cannabis Possession Offenses

Switzerland: Nation Decriminalizes Cannabis Possession Offenses

Bern, Switzerland: Minor marijuana possession offenses have been reclassified as fine-only offenses under a new Swiss law that went into effect earlier this month.

Under the law, the possession of up to 10 grams of cannabis by those age 18 or older is punishable by a fine. Those cited for cannabis will no longer have to appear in criminal court or be penalized with a criminal record.

Government officials backed the measure to bring uniformity to the nation’s marijuana possession penalties, which had previously varied greatly from canton (member state) to another.

Possessing larger quantities of cannabis, as well as cultivating or selling the plant, remain subject to criminal penalty.

In the United States, several states – including California, Connecticut, Nebraska, Rhode Island, and Vermont – have enacted similar decriminalization laws regarding marijuana possession, replacing criminal penalties with civil sanctions only.

For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director, at (202) 483-5500.