Switzerland: Marijuana Helps Keep Prisons Safe
By Steve Elliott
Allowing prison inmates to smoke marijuana -- it's an idea that makes so much sense, it would probably never be implemented, right? Wrong: The sensible Swiss have already done it.
A recent study published in the International Journal of Drug Policy estimates that 50 to 80 percent of inmates in Swiss prisons use cannabis. Marijuana is a relatively safe drug, according to prison staff, and cracking down on consumption would have more negative effects than positive ones.
Thirty-one male prisoners were interviewed, along with 27 prison staff, nine of whom were female.
Both guards and prisoners describe marijuana as a calming way to decrease the trauma of the prison experience. Survey participants said that a crackdown could increase fear and result in a shift to harder drug use.
While prisoners estimated up to 80 percent of inmates use marijuana, guards estimated it at only 50 percent.
(Graphic: North Platte Post)