Switzerland is divided into 26 different areas. Each area is called a canton. A canton is like a state in the United States.

In the past, each canton had its own army and money. This changed in 1848 when Switzerland changed to the structure it has now. An Urkanton is a canton that existed since the foundation of Switzerland in 1291. The other cantons with time joined Switzerland. Jura is the newest canton in Switzerland since 1978. In that year, it split from the canton of Berne, after some rioting.

The cantons of Basel-STADT, Basel-Landschaft, Appenzell-Innerhoden, Appenzell-Ausserrhoden, Obwalden and Nidwalden are different from the others in one way. For historical reasons, their voting is counted differently in national elections. In other words they are the same as the others. In Switzerland, the individual municipalities and cantons are very free. Usually there is a Swiss law (at the level of the whole confederation). The cantons then makes detailed rules, each in the way it sees fit. Sometimes this leads to strange situations. There are 26 different schooling systems.

Drug abuse is an offense, at the federal level. Punishment is usually 1 to 3 years, but can also be only a fine. The problem is: Consumption itself (not trading, or giving away for free)is not punishable. Each canton has different laws, in one canton, smoking a joint will mean a fine, in another, it can mean a prison term. Federalism is used meaning each canton has its own government.

More Info: en.wikipedia.org