A recent decision by the Federal Tribunal, Switzerland’s highest court, opens the way for the police to allow drug users caught with small amounts of banned drugs to keep them, reported SRF.
The federal court decision, which relates to cannabis possession, is likely to be applied to other drugs such as cocaine, according to legal experts.
Swiss Addiction, a foundation aimed at helping addicts, expects the recent court decision to have a positive impact. Addicts will have less fear of the police and authorities and will be more likely to seek help.
Frank Zobel, a director at Swiss Addiction, says most of those caught with small amounts of drugs are addicts. There is little point confiscating drugs from these people because they will immediately go and get another dose, said Zobel.
However, what the decision means exactly remains unclear. “Small amount” has not yet been defined for different drugs, and the cantons, which will implement any changes, should ideally develop coordinated definitions and approaches, said Zobel. It is important that the application of the ruling is not arbitrary and inconsistent between cantons.
SRF article (in German)