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Switzerland: Marijuana To Be Legalized in Pilot Projects

Original article posted by our friends at LaMarihuana.com: http://www.lamarihuana.com/suiza-legaliza-marihuana-proyectos-piloto/

In Bern, Basel, Zurich and Geneva, Switzerland, people will be able enjoy a joint and remain unpunished in the near future, as pilot associations or clubs can initiate projects in these cities as an experiment.

The law will relax for recreational or medical marijuana consumers in these cities, but will remain illegal in Switzerland yet. Around 500,000 Swiss cannabis consumers could see them lift the ban as reported the  SRF.

Experts from the four cities are working together and agreeing on the details of the experimental setup, although the approval of their respective governments will be needed

The four pilot projects could start as clubs or associations, one in each of the four cities, where it would allow about 2,000 participants to use marijuana legally in these associations and controlled delivery of cannabis by the Federal Health Office public, so agreed last Thursday in Bern by Swiss drug experts.

In Zurich and Geneva, consumption will be accessible for both adults and young people; in Basel, a similar experiment but only be available to adults; while in Geneva, the pilot project would only be for medical use.

Professor of Sociology and prevention expert Sandro Cattacin said these pilot experiments, with a duration of four years, if approved as expected, would begin this year.

Swiss narcotics law has some gaps that could allow a controlled release of cannabis because its formal prohibition actually could be set legally enforceable, as wrote the   Neue Zürcher Zeitung .

For the Federal Office of Public Health there are exceptions such as for research and would allow importation, cultivation, production and marketing. With this possible scheme were planned and built projects. Cannabis destined for research or pilot projects could be provided by companies that already have a license to produce cannabis for medicinal purposes.

In Switzerland, an estimated half a million people consume cannabis occasionally or regularly, violating the narcotics law. From 1 October 2013, adults who are caught consuming marijuana are subject to a disciplinary penalty.

So governments of these cities from different political colors are in favor of creating these pilot projects with marijuana. Expert Cattacin, representing Geneva, explained that the ban on soft drugs feels more dangerous and more costly than the simple inactivity or illegal.

A black market could raise taxes and control products, he added.  «And then, of course, another very important issue: Today we have to prevent their use simply with few resources and build trust as well as ensuring product quality. «