According to a survey, a majority of Swiss support the legalising the sale of cannabis under certain conditions.
Of those surveyed, 22% had tried cannabis. The biggest variation was across age. Only 4% of those over 64 had tried it compared to 28% of those 18 – 39, and 26% of those 40 – 64. City dwellers (27%) were keener users than country folk (18%), and Italian speakers (37%) were more likely to have used cannabis than French and German speakers (22%).
Close to two thirds (66%) were in favour of removing the ban on the sale and consumption of cannabis provided consumption by those under 18 and those driving remained illegal.
In addition, 64% would approve of removing the ban if cannabis was regulated in the same way as tobacco, something some who have lived outside Europe might find alarming given Switzerland’s high tobacco consumption. Around 20% of the Swiss population smokes daily (2012), compared to 19% of Brits (2014) 13% of Americans (2014) and 13% of Australians (2013) – OECD statistics.
62% were in favour of lifting the current ban if cannabis was sold by those with specialist training, such as pharmacists.
Responses varied by linguistic region. Residents of Italian-speaking Ticino were the most enthusiastic about lifting the cannabis ban. Between 75% (provided cannabis was restricted like tobacco) and 83% (provided there was a ban for under 18s) were in favour of changing the rules. In French-speaking Switzerland the same percentages were 42% and 56%, and in the German-speaking part they were 54% and 68%.