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Switzerland mulls studies on legal sale of cannabis

February 28, 2019
This Sept. 11, 2018, photo shows a budding marijuana plant within weeks of the harvest at an outdoor grow at SLOgrown Genetics in the coastal mountain range of San Luis Obispo, California. Switzerland's government is taking steps to allow limited studies on the legal sale of cannabis — though any liberalization appears to be a distant prospect. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)
This Sept. 11, 2018, photo shows a budding marijuana plant within weeks of the harvest at an outdoor grow at SLOgrown Genetics in the coastal mountain range of San Luis Obispo, California. Switzerland's government is taking steps to allow limited studies on the legal sale of cannabis — though any liberalization appears to be a distant prospect. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

GENEVA (AP) — Switzerland’s government is taking steps to allow limited studies on the legal sale of cannabis — though any liberalization appears to be a distant prospect.

The governing Federal Council said Thursday it sent to parliament a proposal to allow municipalities to run pilot projects on “the advantages and disadvantages of alternative forms of regulation,” such as the regulated sale of cannabis in pharmacies. The possession and consumption of cannabis with more than 1 percent THC, the main psychoactive constituent of cannabis, are currently illegal.

The government said 200,000 people in the country of 8 million regularly consume cannabis recreationally despite the ban, leading to a flourishing black market and high enforcement costs.

The tightly regulated pilot projects will run for a maximum 10 years, after which studies will be reviewed.

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