Switzerland's achingly slow
progress toward marijuana law reform is once again inching forward, with
hearings having taken place in parliament last week and a final vote scheduled
for May. The Swiss Senate in December 2001 approved legalization
of possession and production for personal use, as well as a limited trade
in the herb. Under the Senate proposal, importing or exporting marijuana
would remain illegal, as would advertising.
But now, with marijuana legalization
on the verge of actually happening, opponents are mobilizing, according
to reports from Swiss Radio International. Since year's end, the
country's German-language media has been filled with reports warning of
the psychological danger of marijuana use. The articles are part
of an orchestrated campaign against legalization, said Christine Goll,
vice-president of the parliamentary commission for health and social security,
which is reviewing the legislation.
"These campaigners are hoping
to influence the parliamentarians," she told Swiss Radio International,
adding that the commission has received numerous letters that appear to
be part of a coordinated campaign.
Opponents have gained support
from the Swiss-German teachers' union, which in late January issued a statement
criticizing legalization. "Unlike alcohol, cannabis has a direct
and epidemic influence on school life," said the missive, adding that it
did not want school to become "a therapy center, where people come to sober
up or to catch up on their sleep."
The Swiss-French teachers'
union also joined the anti campaign, asking, "Do we want a society full
of dopey people, who take less and less responsibility for their actions?"
But with the Swiss government,
the Swiss Senate, and the Swiss Institute for Drug and Alcohol prevention
all supporting legalization, it appears that the opposition is too little
too late. "It is a last-ditch attempt by a few diehards; the battle
is already lost," said parliamentary commission member Yves Guisan.
"Most importantly, the commission has not changed its stance on decriminalization."
for information on anti-prohibition efforts in Switzerland.
-- END --
Issue #276, 2/28/03
Peruvian Government Attacks Cocalero Movement -- Leaders Arrested, Others in Hiding as Protests Spread | The Road to Vienna: International Narcotics Control Board Annual Report Attacks Reformers, Reformers Scratch Back | Ashcroft's Pipe Dream, Bongmaker's Nightmare: Feds Arrest 55 in Paraphernalia Crackdown | Parallel Power Flexes Muscle in Brazil: Rio's Drug Commands in Pre-Carnival Show of Force | In Thailand, Clamor for Investigation Grows as Killings of Drug Suspects Continue | Marijuana at the State House 2003:00:00 The Good, the Bad and the Ugly | Alert: HEA Reform Legislation Re-filed, Needs Your Support | Mérida Footage, Photos Now Online | Newsbrief: Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Coop Head Gets Three Months in Jail for Trying to Inform Jurors | Newsbrief: Belgium to Legalize Marijuana Possession, Use | Newsbrief: Switzerland Marijuana Legalization Moving, Opposition Mobilizes | Newsbrief: "Kiddie Meth" Legislation Spreads to Illinois, Missouri | Newsbrief: MPP Releases TV Ads on Harms of Marijuana Prohibition in Third Phase of Group's "War on Drug Czar" Campaign | Newsbrief: Utah Drugged Driving Bill is DOA in House | Newsbrief: This Week's Corrupt Cop Story | The Reformer's Calendar
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