Swiss Parliament says no to cannabis use in scientific studies


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Swiss Parliament says no to cannabis use in scientific studies

Geneva, June 13 (IANS) The Swiss Parliament has rejected a motion to allow the use of cannabis in scientific studies investigating the drug's effects.

Opponents of the rejected motion saw it as a back-door path towards liberalization, the Xinhua quoted the Swiss media as reporting on Tuesday.

After a narrow victory at the committee stage, the motion was rejected on Monday in the House of Representatives by another slim margin: 96 votes to 93, with two abstentions, the Swiss News Agency, SDA-ATS, reported.

The conservative-right Swiss People's Party and centrist Christian Democrats voted against the idea, which they saw as an implicit route towards liberalizing cannabis consumption.

Supporters of the project, which aimed to make cannabis available for academic studies about the effects of prescribed versions of the drug, had claimed that it would allow for a better understanding of possible health and social problems.

The vote came after a November 2017 federal decision to block a University of Bern study that was requested by the city's authorities into possible effects of the regulated sale of cannabis in pharmacies.

At the time, the Federal Office of Public Health, despite not rejecting the project in principle, said the request could not be granted.

It said: "Current drugs legislation does not allow the use of cannabis for non-medical reasons ... for such a study to be permitted, the law would have to be supplemented by a special legal provision for scientific pilot projects."

The Parliament's decision thus eliminated the possibility, for now, of such a legal provision being enacted.

Growing, consuming and dealing cannabis are all forbidden in Switzerland.