BlogCannabis use in Swiss prisons helps maintain safe environment
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Cannabis use in Swiss prisons helps maintain safe environment


According to a recently published study, somewhere between 50% – 80% of Swiss prisoners use cannabis. Though illegal in Switzerland, the use of cannabis was found to be a daily occurrence for a large percentage of prisoners. The guards are aware of this and feel it leads to a safer environment.

The study was conducted at three prisons through in-depth interviews with 31 detainees and 27 staff members. Detainees estimated the use of cannabis to be as high as 80%, while the staff estimate was close to 50%. It seems the use of cannabis is tolerated because:

"The introduction of a more restrictive regulation induced fear of violence, increased trafficking and a shift to other drug use."

So basically, prohibiting cannabis will likely cause inmates to resort to worse drugs (and more violent outbursts). By quietly allowing a joint now and then, Swiss prisons are hoping to keep prisoners subdued.

Finally the Swiss are known for something other than chocolate and army knives!

“Hey dude, let’s bust out of here”.
“Naw man, I’ve got good food, a warm bed and nothing to do but smoke weed. This is paradise.”

Maybe if more societies allowed cannabis, we’d see less violence?


Cannabis use in a Swiss male prison: Qualitative study exploring detainees’ and staffs’ perspectives

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