Switzerland’s lower house has unanimously approved a bill that would allow marijuana to be sold legally as part of a pilot program.
The program is designed to allow officials to research the impacts of allowing marijuana to be legally sold through licensed outlets. It would allow 1,000 people to purchase marijuana from government-approved and licensed establishments, which will likely be modeled after Amsterdam-style coffee shops.
“We need to research this issue so we have scientifically-valid data to base our decisions on when discussing the future of cannabis laws”, says MP Roberto Zanetti (Social Democrat). “This law would give us just that”.
Having already passed the lower house, the measure now heads to the National Council, who will have the final say over whether it becomes law.
Although marijuana is illegal in Switzerland, the possession of up to 10 grams has been decriminalized since 2013. In 2001 lawmakers passed a bill to legalize marijuana, though it was rejected by the National Council due to pressure from the United Nations.