Skip to main content

Signature Drive In Switzerland Seeks To Legalize Cannabis For Adult-Use

switzerland flag

Europe is currently home to three nations that have adopted a national adult-use cannabis legalization measure, and if cannabis advocates in Switzerland succeed in their effort, their country could become the fourth.

Currently, Malta, Luxembourg, and Germany have approved legalization measures. Malta did so in 2021, Luxembourg did it in 2023, and Germany’s legalization measure officially came into effect on April 1st, 2024.

Out of the three nations, Germany’s legalization model is the best. All three legal European countries permit cannabis cultivation, possession, and use. However, Luxembourg does not permit adult-use commerce in any form, and in Malta commerce is limited to noncommercial cannabis clubs. In addition to clubs, Germany will also allow regional adult-use cannabis commerce pilot trials.

Switzerland currently has cannabis trials underway, and according to domestic reporting, the signature-gathering effort seeks to take sales nationally. Per Swiss Info:

The people’s initiative, “Cannabis legalisation: opportunities for the economy, health and equality”, wants a new article on cannabis enshrined in the constitution. According to the text of the initiative published in the Swiss Federal Gazette, citizens should be allowed to grow and possess cannabis from the age of 18 for their personal use.

Commercial cannabis growers and sales outlets would require a licence and be subject to strict quality and safety regulations. The proceeds from the taxation of cannabis products would be channelled into drug education, addiction prevention and awareness.

The effort needs to successfully gather 100,000 valid signatures by October 30th, 2025 to trigger a vote. It is worth noting that a similar effort occurred in Italy in recent years, with advocates gathering the necessary signatures. However, Italy’s top court ultimately ruled that the measure was unconstitutional before voters got to decide on it.

If the effort does succeed in getting enough signatures in Switzerland, in addition to being reviewed by Swiss courts, the measure will presumably also be reviewed by the European Union. The European Union indicated in its discussions with Germany that nationwide adult-use cannabis sales are not permitted by current EU agreements.