European country considers legalising cocaine after ‘failed’ war on drugs

Switzerland’s capital city, Bern, is considering legalising the sale of cocaine for recreational use in a drastic approach that is not thought to have ever been tried in the world. The European city is re-examining its policy on the drug – considered a Class A substance in the UK, where its sale or possession often leads to lengthy prison sentences and hefty fines.ย 

The proposal, currently in its very early stages, comes after Switzerland carried out trials exploring the legalisation of cannabis on Switzerland’s streets.

The radical suggestion follows admissions by leading politicians in the European country that the “war on drugs” has failed miserably, both in Switzerland and in the rest of the continent.ย 

Eva Chen, a member of the Bern council from the Alternative Left Party who co-sponsored the proposal, insisted that “we have to try something new”.ย  She added: “Control and legalisation can do better than mere repression.”

The Parliament in Bern has so far supported the idea of looking into the legalisation of cocaine. However, to be fully implemented the proposal needs to overcome opposition from the city government as well as a change in national law.ย 

READ MORE: Drug opioid in UK cities ‘inevitable’ as dangerous drugs flood market

The wealthy European country has one of the highest levels of cocaine use in Europe, the analysis of the levels of illicit drugs and their metabolites in the waste water suggests.

Bern is among the Swiss cities in which the usage of cocaine have increased while prices of the substance halved in the last five years, according to NGO Addiction Switzerland.

Frank Zobel, deputy director at the organisation, said: “We have a lot of cocaine in Switzerland right now, at the cheapest prices and the highest quality we have ever seen. You can get a dose of cocaine for about 10 francs these days, not much more than the price for a beer.”

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