What the World Can Learn from Switzerland's Drug Policy Shift

In the late 1980s, Switzerland witnessed a significant increase in the use of injected drugs and was hit hard by the harms associated with it, such as increased HIV infection and rising crime rates.

This short film by the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (HCLU), a grantee of the Open Society Global Drug Policy Program, outlines how the country successfully resolved these problems through the introduction of an innovative national drug policy based on scientifically proven methods, not rhetoric.

The HCLU video advocacy team interviewed Professor Ambros Uchtenhagen, head of the first heroin maintenance program in Switzerland; Felix Lengweiler, the chief of security police and policing of narcotics crime at the Zurich City Police; and Uwe Serduelt, deputy director, Centre of Research on Direct Democracy at the Zurich University.

Find out more: Read From the Mountaintops: What the World Can Learn from Drug Policy Change in Switzerland, the new report by the Open Society Foundations.

Learn More:



Thank God the US isn't Switzerland, we already have a drug policy (that's usually drastically inefficient, under-enforced and wayyy too social). If there's somebody that doesn't like it, they're invited to either help improve it by making it more strict and penalizing, or, of course, to move to Switzerland.

Dear Dave

I'm sorry but I'm afraid I didn't understand your comment. Please clarify

Thank you


Could anybody from OSI or our Swiss friends please inform us of the following:

Is this business of calling referendi possible for most countries, or is it something ONLY some countries can do? What is unique to Switzerland that enabled you all to take the initiative and call a referendum allowing so many to vote about a critical (but usually seen to be insignificant...) an issue ??

Looking forward to reading your answers

Warmest regards and THANK U all sooo much for this film

Andria E-Mordaunt

Add your voice