A change to the law in Switzerland has decriminalised marijuana, making possession of the drug a minor misdemeanour that will not go on a person’s criminal record.

From the start of this month, anyone found with up to 10 grams of the substance will be able to avoid all formal legal proceedings, instead paying an on-the-spot fine of CHF 100 (around £68).

The relaxation of the law comes after a lengthy process of debate and disagreement in the Swiss parliament, which finally approved the move a year ago.

It is also expected to save money, avoiding the average of 30,000 cases for smoking marijuana that appear before the courts each year.

Corine Kibora, a spokeswoman for Addiction Switzerland, told SBC: “Police resources should be freed up to pursue drug trafficking.”

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