Teens kick cannabis via family therapy Friday, 27 April, 2012 Cannabis has for many years been considered a soft drug no worse than alcohol. But in recent times its psychologically addictive qualities have been the subject of numerous studies. How do you help people who smoke regularly, especially teenagers, kick the habit? In 2000, Switzerland joined four other countries to study a new treatment approach called multi-dimensional family therapy. The results of that study have now been announced in Geneva and experts say they’ve been successful in addressing the worst cases of addiction. WRS’s Dave Goodman talks to Philip Nielsen from the Phoenix Foundation has been leading the study in Switzerland:
Cannabis shop owners decry spot checks Monday, 15 August, 2011 It is legal for individuals to keep and even sell up to four cannabis plants in western Swiss cantons as well as in Ticino, but growers say a new law will threaten a legitimate business. As of January 1 next year, they’ll have to register with police, who will have the right to do spot checks in stores, and even in people’s homes, to make sure plants contain less than one percent of the chemical, THC. German-speaking cantons are slightly more permissive, but rules vary from canton to canton. WRS’s Lucas Chambers reports from Lausanne:
Should hunger strike inmate be force-fed? Monday, 8 November, 2010 Convicted drug dealer Bernard Rappaz is still on hunger strike and is putting the justice and medical authorities in turmoil. Esther Wäber-Kalbermatten, head of the justice department in Valais, wants Geneva’s cantonal hospital to do everything possible to keep Rappaz alive, and that includes force-feeding. The response from the medical establishment is that this is unethical and hospital authorities maintain Rappaz will not be force-fed. What is the way out of this impasse? WRS’s Conor Lennon invites professor Alexandre Mauron, head of the University of Geneva’s biomedical ethics institute, and Geneva-based lawyer and law professor Ursula Cassani to the discussion:
Marijuana—coming soon to a pharmacy near you Tuesday, 10 August, 2010 We’re hardly likely to sprout California-style medical marijuana superstores anytime soon, but Switzerland is on track to join 14 American states, Canada, Spain and the Netherlands in legalizing pot for chronic pain relief. The legislative machinery is shifting into place for just that to happen next year, 15 years after California approved pot for medicinal purposes. When the law is in force, it’ll be a milestone day for Dr Claude Vaney, head of neurology at the Berner Clinic in Crans Montana. He was one of the research pioneers in this field and tells WRS’s Susan Flory that the link between pot and pain relief is no longer open to question.
Zurich one step closer to legalizing cannabis Friday, 18 June, 2010 Zurich’s city parliament has voted in a proposal, led by the Greens, for a pilot project allowing the controlled sale of cannabis there. The municipal government now has to decide on the issue. Earlier this year both houses of the national Parliament voted to stick with laws outlawing the consumption of cannabis. Green Party councillor Matthias Probst is one of the prime movers behind the proposal. WRS’s Conor Lennon asked him about the project:
New street drug economies emerge from anti-pot push Friday, 17 July, 2009 Crackdowns on cannabis production and consumption are having at least one major impact on the streets—namely they’re causing marijuana prices to skyrocket, according to recent reports in the Swiss media. In fact, a gramme of marijuana now reportedly costs roughly the same—about 30 francs—as a gramme of heroin, which has seen its prices fall from about 500 francs per gramme over the past 20 years. WRS’s Catherine Allen spoke to Thilo Beck, Medical Director of the Association for Risk Reduction and a leading prevention expert, to find out if the changing street prices are changing drug use habits.
Drugs use 'high' among Swiss youth Wednesday, 20 May, 2009 It’s perhaps a surprising result, but young people in Switzerland smoke more cannabis than in most other European countries, with only the Czech Republic and, oddly, the Isle of Man, faring worse. Swiss youngsters are also drinking heavily, way higher than the European average, according to figures released in a study by the European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Drugs. Conor Lennon spoke to Doctor Allen Guggenbühl, a psychotherapist who works with children and teenagers, and began by asking why so many young swiss are smoking cannabis and drinking alcohol.
Switzerland votes... on marijuana Thursday, 27 November, 2008 The Swiss people get the chance this Sunday to vote whether or not to decriminalise marijuana. It’s an issue that’s sparked a lot of interest, explains WRS’s Jordan Davis.
Rekindling the marijuana debate Tuesday, 4 December, 2007 The controversial issue of cannabis use will come before Switzerland’s new parliament today, resurfacing three years after a government plan to decriminalise the drug was voted down. Catherine Allen reports.