Drugs Policy Becomes Lower Priority in Switzerland
"In 1995 the last open drug scene, the Letten in Zurich, was closed. After that the importance attached to the drug problem in opinion polls decreased. Today only a handful of people still regard the drug issue as one of our country’s most pressing problems. At the same time, the number of motions in Parliament connected with drugs policy has also fallen. Pressure on the part of the public and from politicians is thus currently very slight, while at the same time a number of drugs policy measures are being queried due to increasing pressure for public spending cuts.
"A planned amendment to the Narcotics Act which also provided for the decriminalisation of cannabis use sparked renewed controversy for a time in 2002. Opinion polls showed that on the issue of cannabis there was no clear majority among the public for any one policy. The amendment of the law, which would also have included the incorporation of the four pillar policy into legislation, failed to get through Parliament in 2004.
"Despite the demonstrable successes in drugs policy, it has not yet proved possible to incorporate the four pillar policy into legislation. A National Council committee is currently working on a draft for a partial revision of the Narcotics Act, which would lead to the policy being made part of legislation. The cannabis issue is to be excluded and dealt with instead through the popular initiative 'For a rational hemp policy with effective protection of young people'."
Swiss Federal Office of Public Health, "Switzerland’s National Drugs Policy: The federal government’s third package of measures to reduce drug-related problems (MaPaDro III) 2006-2011" (2006), p. 11.