Switzerland eases punishment for possession of cannabis

by Letizia Orlandi - 2013.10.02
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From October 1, an adult caught smoking cannabis in Switzerland can escape formal legal proceedings by simply paying a fine. Like a simple traffic offence, anyone over 18 caught in possession of up to ten grams of cannabis will receive a CHF 100 (€ 80) fine and not have it put on their criminal record. The change brings Switzerland in line with other European countries that tolerate dope smoking in small amounts. Up to 500,000 people in Switzerland, which has a population of eight million, are believed to be occasional cannabis smokers, with officials noting a downward trend over the past decade.