iStock.com/SubstanceP Marijuana News Today
We head east for our marijuana news today, looking at recreational marijuana legalization in Europe. More specifically, Switzerland, which has just green-lit a number of studies to determine whether the country should relax its currently strict laws against marijuana.
The government of Switzerland is also looking into making it easier to access medical marijuana (which has been legal in the country since 2011) for cancer and multiple sclerosis treatments. (“Switzerland weighs relaxing marijuana ban,” Reuters, July 4, 2018.)
About 200,000 people in the small European country currently turn to medical marijuana for relief, according to the Swiss government.
“Although current laws forbid [marijuana’s] consumption and seek to punish it, this number is not declining,” said the Swiss government. “At the same time, the black market is flourishing, and the safety of consumers cannot be guaranteed due to a lack of quality control. (Source: Ibid.)
While the study is a preliminary first step toward marijuana legalization in Europe, this process is similar to what the United States is currently undergoing.
Although Switzerland is not part of the European Union (EU), it has a number of special relationships with the organization, and the country could very well influence the future of marijuana policy in the EU.
Much like the U.S. has multiple states inching toward recreational marijuana legalization, we’re seeing a number of countries in Europe test the waters.
While Switzerland is perhaps the first to begin so in earnest (or at least something resembling earnest), other countries, like the U.K. and Germany, are exploring different ways to expand marijuana usage, primarily medical.
But, as we know, recreational marijuana legalization is a common next step following medical marijuana legalization.
It’s also worth noting that Switzerland’s drug laws are particularly harsh, allowing only low-potency cannabis to be used for