The results of a recent parliamentary survey show that the majority of French citizens would support the legalisation of recreational cannabis.
France has the highest number of cannabis users in Europe but some of the harshest drug laws, which is why it was no surprise when most of France favoured legalisation.
The survey was carried out to discover how the French perceive cannabis and their views on public policies in this area.
According to RFI, over 250,000 people participated in the survey. Over 80% of those agree that the consumption and production of cannabis should be allowed. 85% said that adults should be allowed to grow pot plants within a proscribed limit.
Only 14% of respondents believe it should be legal for adult use, and 5% said the current restrictions need to be stricter. Less than 1% of respondents believe that the legislation should stay as is.
Breakdown of results found in the survey:
- 30% said they had never used cannabis
- nearly 40% said they used it occasionally
- less than 20% said they used it regularly
- almost 15% admitted to using it daily
The political stance
There are a number of politicians who are for legalisation. LREM MP Caroline Janvier said in a statement, “We now know that the legalisation of cannabis is no longer a taboo in France and that our fellow citizens are observing the ineffectiveness of the current legislation in the matter.”
Jean-Baptiste Moreau, the MP for Creuse has said that he thought legalising adult-use could be a possibility.
Moreau told Franceinfo:
“We really must have a debate to enlighten citizens on this issue.
“Today, we have a ban, but we have record levels of consumption. So, the situation is untenable.
“Prohibition is not working. It just creates a parallel market. We have a significant parallel economy, which finances other networks, such as arms trafficking and others.”
Moreau suggests that the government should establish a system to regulate the legal cannabis market, ensuring that customers receive safe and high-quality products.
Another supporter is Robin Reda, an MP for Essonne. Reda leads a parliamentary group of 33 MPs currently studying the potential of legalising the drug for recreational purposes. “Twenty million French people say they have already experimented with cannabis, 200,000 people make a living from the underground economy of cannabis,” Reda said.
He believes the tides are turning in the rest of Europe, with other countries taking steps to change their laws. “There will inevitably be an evolution in France; we cannot remain isolated in Europe,” he said.
However, France’s Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin opposes the legalisation of cannabis.
What does this mean for the future?
If the signs are anything to go by, cannabis could be legalised in the near future. Not only has the government softened penalties for those caught consuming it, but they have also given the green light to go ahead with a programme of medical cannabis trials, which many hope will pave the way for legalisation. Furthermore, The National Assembly has already authorised cannabis use for therapeutic reasons for over 3,000 patients suffering from serious illnesses.
As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the date of the authorisation has been pushed back, and it will now be allowed from 31 March 2021.
The Source: TheExtract (Vicky-Leandra Teixeira)