France will introduce a law by year’s end to end prison terms for cannabis use, a spokesman for the new President Emmanuel Macron said last Friday.
Macron made his pledge to reform laws on cannabis use a key campaign plank during the hard-fought race. Under current law, offenders can face a year in prison plus a fine of up to 3,750 euros ($4,200).
“Last year, 180,000 people were found to be in violation of drug laws,” said Macron spokesman Christophe Castaner, according to the French national news agency AFP. “On average these cases take up six hours of police time and the same amount for the presiding magistrate. Is the system effective? No. What is important today is to be effective, and above all to free up time for our police so they can focus more on essential matters.”
However, in what seems a strange compromise, cannabis consumption will technically remain a criminal offense. Castaner stressed that “consuming drugs remains serious and is dangerous to health.”
Police unions at least tentatively welcomed the move.
Patrice Ribeiro of the national officers’ union stated that it was “a good idea that takes reality into account.”
The judiciary was less welcoming.
Virginie Duval of the magistrates’ union said the new law “won’t change much and it’s not going to unclog the courts.”
Macron’s predecessor Francois Hollande had refused to consider cannabis decriminalization, despite a growing mandate for change.
Four out of the five main candidates in the presidential race supported a relaxation of the country’s cannabis laws. Only Marine Le Pen of the far-right Front National was against any change to the law.
“It’s a completely crazy idea. Instead we must use every force available to us to fight against drugs and drug dealers,” Le Pen’s campaign director David Rachline said in October.
The April 23 vote narrowed the field to Macron and Le Pen. Macron, of a new centrist formation called En Marche!, emerged victorious in a May 7 run-off.
According to a 2014 survey by the French Observatory for Drug Use and Addiction, 17 million French citizens admitted to using cannabis at some point in their lives, with 700,000 using it daily.
As EuroNews notes, most European Union member states have, at this point, decriminalized.
Michelle Obama Writes About Smoking Pot in Upcoming Book
The United Kingdom Will Soon Have First Cannabis-Infused Restaurant
Texas Representative Introduces Bill to Decriminalize Marijuana
Cathedral City Just Opened SoCal’s First Legal Consumption Lounge
News3 days ago
Snoop Dogg Smokes a Blunt in Front of the White House to Protest Trump
News7 days ago
22-Year-Old Man Sentenced to 30 Days in Jail for Trafficking Marijuana
Health7 days ago
Study Finds Possible Link Between Cannabis and Type 1 Diabetes Complication
News5 days ago
Jeff Sessions Resigns as Attorney General
News3 days ago
Dsuvia: The Opioid 10 Times Stronger Than Fentanyl the FDA Just Approved
News6 days ago
Colorado Cannabis Grower Wins Lawsuit Against Landowners Over Strong Smell
Politics3 days ago
How Will The New Attorney General Impact The Cannabis Industry?
Culture7 days ago
This is a Pipe Tells the Story of Profound Glass from True Badasses