1999: Switzerland Allows Sale of Marijuana Labeled As Hemp

In the ’90s Switzerland allowed the open sale of “sachets” of locally-grown outdoor marijuana, and the sky didn’t fall, stoned zombies didn’t roam the streets, and no one become a junkie overnight.

They had a definition of hemp defined by end-use, not % THC. Since they were sachets for fragrance in your armoire, they were legal “hanf” regardless of THC content.

This picture is from 1999 is in front of a small shop in a tiny village directly across the street from the Police Station, openly selling it with a marijuana plant and “Hanf” sign outside. The other picture is me in Martigny, Switzerland, an open field next door to an apartment building, no fences or security (the Swiss are profoundly honest). It was 10-14% THC “hanf” for making essential oil sold for $10,000/liter. Yield was about 1 liter per acre. Dozens were sold to a customer in New York City, I suspect as an ingredient in a popular commercial fragrance. That program died when the police found a 2-meter long trichome tumbler for the tops in a barn, and the jig was up.

OK sure the sachets were a thinly-veiled fraud, but that was necessitated only by the draconian anti-marijuana law, not vendors’ intention. Everyone knew it was a workaround, the police, politicians, and citizens. Begging for permission from our oppressors has never worked, so one must figure out the loopholes. This was one.

And note the lack of problems from legal marijuana; no police or regulators were corrupted unlike in “legal” marijuana states, no gangs of criminals were involved, no gateway to hard drugs, no increase in car crashes and stoned teenagers. It was remarkably trouble-free and seamless. The experiment proved that complex regulatory schemes and dozens of new felonies just to “legalize” what DEA called the “safest therapeutic substance known to man” are utterly unnecessary and actually counter-productive.

Regarding that storefront: I was considering opening a HempNut Cafe in Olten, Switzerland, a block from the train station back then with my Swiss distributor. Olten is the crossroads of the rail network there, and thousands of people would have walked past us daily on their way home. We were going to offer ready-to-heat meals they could take home, all containing hempseed and/or hempseed oil.

Anyway, “we need more studies first before legalizing” is a time-honored delaying tactic to kick the can down the road while appearing to be doing something constructive. There are 12,000 years of use and 25,000 studies already.

Read about the latest delay in Switzerland: https://mjbizdaily.com/switzerland-releases-details-on-recreational-marijuana-experiment-but-full-legalization-likely-years-away/

Police Station 10 meters away
Field of 10-14% THC legal “hemp”
Olten, Switzerland

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