Swiss Vote to Keep Rational Drug Policy

Press Release September 27, 1997
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Tony Neman at 510-208-7711

A majority of Swiss voters today rejected an initiative which would have discontinued the government’s heroin maintenance program and abandoned most of its methadone program. The initiative, supported by right-wing groups in Switzerland, was opposed by mainstream church groups, most members of the Swiss parliament, police representatives, the Swiss cabinet, trade unions and the majority of youth and drug workers. “The vast majority of the Swiss population has endorsed the success of these programs and rejected the extreme policy goals of reactionary groups,” said Ethan Nadelmann, Director of the Lindesmith Center. “By curbing the government’s methadone program, this radical initiative would have forced thousands of currently drug-free citizens back to illicit drugs. Fortunately, the Swiss have decided to deal effectively, pragmatically and humanely with the harm associated with drugs and addiction. This vote sends a strong message to the U.S. and other countries that a sensible drug policy works.”

A young woman holds a sign that says "End the Drug War."

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