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In Switzerland, Marijuana Use Helps Keep Prisons Calm and Safe

The Swiss prison guards agree that marijuana use among inmates is a good thing.
 
 
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A recent study published in the  International Journal of Drug Policy estimates that 50 to 80 percent of inmates in Swiss prisons use marijuana. Prison staff told researchers they found marijuana to be a relatively safe drug and that cracking down on consumption would have more negative effects than positive ones.

Surveys of detainees and guards revealed similar opinions on marijuana use, with both groups describing the effects of marijuana as analgesic, calming and a way to decrease the traumatic prison experience.  Negative consequences included sleepiness, social isolation, and decreased perception of danger. But survey participants also said that more restrictive regulation could increase fear, trafficking, and a shift to harder drug use. 

While prisoners estimated that up to 80 percent of prisoners use marijuana, guards reported a lower estimate at 50 percent. Read more about it here

Kristen Gwynne is an associate editor and drug policy reporter at AlterNet.  Follow her on Twitter: @KristenGwynne

 
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