The Swiss government has given the green light for an experiment to legalize the sale and use of cannabis while exploring the impacts both socially and economically. Starting this summer, citizens of Zurich aged 18 and over, with no underlying health conditions, who are not professional drivers will be allowed to purchase small amounts of cannabis from pharmacies, dispensaries, and social clubs as reported by CNBC.
As part of the study, participants must fill in a questionnaire every six months inquiring about their cannabis usage frequency and its impact on their health.
The project manager at Zurich’s municipal health department Barbara Burri commented “the goal is to get strong evidence from the real world that can be used to make new rules about cannabis”. Public health surveys have highlighted that around a third of Swiss adults have tried cannabis with 13,000 people regularly consuming it in Zurich alone – which has a population of over 420 thousand people.
A similar study will take place in other cities including Basel, Bern, Lausanne, Geneva, Biel, Thun, Olten and Winterthur funded by the government and universities.