Geneva will become the third Swiss city, after Basel and Zurich, to initiate a three-year pilot project for legal cannabis sales. The project, overseen by the University of Geneva, will focus on understanding participants’ perceptions, behaviors, and consumption. Strict regulations will be in place to ensure no illegal activities, and the project’s success will depend on local community support.
Geneva will soon become the third Swiss city, following Basel and Zurich, to sell cannabis legally. This announcement was made last Wednesday by former Confederation president Ruth Dreifuss, currently the president of the ChanGE association overseeing the initiative.
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The Initiative: A First for Geneva
The pilot project, set to run for three years, will offer approximately 1,000 Geneva residents the opportunity to purchase and consume cannabis legally. It will be closely monitored and analyzed by the addiction service of the University Hospitals and the sociology department of the University of Geneva.
Focus on Participant Perceptions
Instead of undertaking physiological measures, such as blood analyses, researchers will focus on participants’ perceptions, behaviors, and consumption, as well as reactions within the Geneva community.
Participation Criteria and Geneva Sales Locations
To be part of this experiment, potential participants must be adults, reside in the canton of Geneva, and be regular cannabis users, either for recreational or therapeutic purposes.
Martine Baudin, coordinator of ChanGE, emphasized that the project aims to attract a diverse range of participants, aged 18 to 70 years.
The “Cannabinothèque” Venue
Selected candidates in Geneva can visit “La Cannabinothèque”, the sales point located near Châtelaine in Vernier, a few kilometers from the French border, starting December. It will be easily accessible via public transport.
Compliance with the Law
While the pilot project seems promising for cannabis enthusiasts in Geneva, authorities underline it will be strictly regulated, and illegal activities will not be tolerated.
Carole-Anne Kast, the Secretary of State in charge of the police, stated, “There’s no question of allowing illegal behaviors within this legal framework.”
Geneva Community Support Essential
Furthermore, the success of the project hinges on the support of the local Geneva community, as highlighted by Martin Staub, administrative councilor of the Vernier municipality.
The pilot initiative aims to be a significant step toward a deeper understanding of the effects of legal cannabis sales and consumption in Geneva and will provide opportunities to enhance public health and prevention strategies.
Registration to participate in the trial has been open on the ChanGE association’s website since last Sunday, while the sales point is set to open its doors to participants next December.
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