January 14, 2019

While the US is busy condemning the use of cannabis, other countries like Canada and France are working to make the industry flourish. Recently, Emmanuel Macron’s spokesman announced that the government will soon be introducing laws that will exclude imprisonment as the potential punishment for cannabis use. This might just be the first step in the revival of the pot industry in France.

The new President has always promised the public during his campaign that once he gets into power, he will surely be working for the betterment of the cannabis industry in the country. It is great to see that unlike Trump, Macron is willing to keep his promise. He pledged that he would ensure to reform the cannabis-related laws and regulations.

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As of the moment, those who offend the laws are subject to a fine of $4,200 at most. This is in addition to a year in prison. Macron plans on terminating this law as his spokesperson revealed last Friday. Christophe Castaner—the Spokesman—also said that there have been about 180,000 instances of drug violation throughout the country simply during the previous year. This tells about the extent to which this is becoming common in France. He further went on:

“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.”

While the move is appreciated by some, it is still quite perplexing why using cannabis is still being regarded as a criminal offense. According to Castaner, the consumption of drugs is “dangerous to health.” While this may be true for many other drugs, the Macron’s spokesperson surely does not know much about the benefits that marijuana brings along.

There have been mixed views about the move that is being made. While people like Patrice Ribeiro from the National Office’s Union think of the move as prolific, the judiciary was not too into it. In fact, the judiciary was concerned that on top of not bringing about much benefit, the move will also keep on clogging the courts.

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If there is any good that can come out of this move, it is the fact that pot users will not have to serve jail-time nor will they have to pay ridiculously high penalties. This is something that the previous President Francois Hollande refused to consider.

Apart from Marine Le Pen, all four presidential candidates were in favor of relaxing the cannabis laws in France. David Rachline—Campaign Director of Le Pen—said,

“It’s a completely crazy idea. Instead, we must use every force available to us to fight against drugs and drug dealers,”

With around 700,000 people in France who use cannabis on a daily basis, imprisoning everyone will only create a problem.

Fortunately, the new cannabis laws by Macron understand that. While France has a long way to go with Cannabis use, this decriminalization attempt might just be the first step.

Marijuana stays in the news, and Alice is always ready to keep us updated. A world traveler and lover of freedom, Alice knows what is going on, no matter where she roams. She specializes in marijuana legalization stories across the globe, with up to date... [read more]


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