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"That is only damage limitation," she said. "Ninety-five percent of the addicts are not healed from the addiction."
Health insurance pays for the bulk of the program, which costs 26 million Swiss francs ($22 million) a year. All residents in Switzerland, which has a population of 7.5 million, are required to have health insurance, with the government paying insurance premiums for those who cannot afford it.
Parliament approved the heroin measure in a revision of Switzerland's narcotics law in March, but conservatives challenged the decision and forced a national referendum under Switzerland's system of direct democracy.
Jo Lang, a Green Party member of parliament from the central city of Zug, said he was disappointed in the failure of the marijuana measure because it means 600,000 people in Switzerland will be treated as criminals because they use cannabis.
"People have died from alcohol and heroin, but not from cannabis," Lang said.
The government, which opposed the marijuana proposal, said it feared that liberalizing cannabis could cause problems with neighboring countries.
On a separate issue, 52 percent of voters approved an initiative to eliminate the statute of limitations on pornographic crimes against children before the age of puberty.
The current Swiss statute of limitations on prosecuting pedophile pornography is 15 years. The initiative will result in a change in the constitution to remove that time limit.
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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