The flag of Switzerland hanging from the exterior of a hotel.

Gideon

Swiss advocates are renewing their push for legalizing cannabis, once again launching an initiative to allow cultivation and consumption for adult use, according to a report from The Local. In 2013, laws in Switzerland were relaxed and criminal penalties for possessing 10 grams of cannabis or less were reduced to a fine of 100 francs (about USD$100).

The new initiative follows a failed push in 2008 which would have legalized cannabis cultivation and use for everyone, including minors, and didn’t provide for any government tax.

Nine Forrer of Legalize It, the group behind the campaign, argued that legalizing cannabis would help curtail the informal market.

“The ban on cannabis is wrong from a social perspective, wrong from a legal point of view and simply stupid from an economic point of view.” Forrer said in a report by Tages-Anzeiger, a Swiss German-language newspaper published in Zurich.

The Swiss government is currently considering a trial program that would allow state-controlled cannabis sales in cannabis clubs in four cities and another trial that would allow cannabis sales in selected pharmacies.

According to federal figures outlined by Tages-Anzeiger, 19,000 fines were issued in 2016 for cannabis possession in Switzerland; due to varying enforcement, however, 4,286 of those were issued in Zurich while Bern saw just 203.

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