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Group of 31 French senators from the Socialist, Green and Republican parties come together to write a statement calling for the legalisation of cannabis in France.

The Local reports

France is known for having some of the strictest laws regarding marijuana consumption in Europe – while simultaneously maintaining one of the highest rates of cannabis usage in the EU.

A group of French senators – coming from the Socialist, Green and centre-right Les Républicains parties – are trying to change those laws, and have come together to call for marijuana to be legalised in France.

The group of 31 co-signed a statement published in French newspaper, Le Monde, on Wednesday, August 10th.

In the statement, the senators promised to launch a ‘consultation process’ to submit a bill to legalise marijuana “in the coming months.”

The proposition was headed by Senator Gilbert-Luc Devinaz, a member of the Socialist Party, and gained support from the party’s leader, Patrick Kanner.

A report by the Assemblé Nationale, which was published in May 2021, estimated that nearly 18 million French people (more than 25 percent of the population) had already consumed marijuana, and that an additional 1.5 million consume it regularly.

This, coupled with the 2019 finding that nearly one in two French people (45 percent) said they were in favour of legalisation, according to a survey by the French Observatory of Drugs and Drug Addiction (OFDT), helped strengthen the senators’ position.

“Public opinion is ready, the legislature must act,” they wrote.

Read more at

https://www.thelocal.fr/20220811/public-opinion-is-ready-these-french-senators-want-to-legalise-marijuana/

Read.. Le Monde Story

‘Legalizing cannabis will provide the means to act more effectively to further protect our citizens’

In a group letter to ‘Le Monde,’ 29 senators from the Socialiste, Ecologiste et Républicain group, led by Gilbert-Luc Devinaz, commit to launching a consultation process in order to submit a bill to legalize cannabis.

Nearly 18 million of our fellow French citizens have used cannabis recreationally, according to a recent report by the Assemblée Nationale. While it is prohibited, 1.5 million use it regularly. Whether we like it or not, this is a social issue that the public authorities must address. It is a legislative responsibility to provide answers to the legitimate concerns that exist, when faced with a situation that is out of our control.

In this context, we must get away from the laxity that is regularly attributed to advocates for a change in the legal framework. We socialist senators are facing the reality: the situation is untenable. The French are ready to debate the use of so-called recreational cannabis.

We want to contribute to this process, without bias and in the perspective of creating an effective piece of legislation. Indeed, we can see that repression stemming from the framework of prohibition is ineffective, inefficient and unfair. It does not allow us to protect our young people from the damage to their health by uncontrolled use. It keeps certain neighborhoods very highly dependant on trafficking, and this results in insecurity and violence that are unbearable for the inhabitants. It requires deploying considerable resources for almost no results.

Controlling products’ health quality

There are two responses to this. The first, decriminalization, is characterized by maintaining the prohibition with the removal of the penalties incurred. This would be equivalent to the public authorities stripping themselves of the means to act. It would be a fairly cynical manner of buying social peace. We refuse this demagogic and populist option.

https://www.lemonde.fr/en/opinion/article/2022/08/10/legalizing-cannabis-will-provide-the-means-to-act-more-effectively-to-further-protect-our-citizens_5993070_23.html

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