On August 16, the German government passed a bill to legalize cannabis. By the end of the year, it will be possible to buy and possess up to 18 grams of weed from the age of 25. While Germany is legalizing, France continues to have very restrictive policies despite having one of the highest rates of cannabis use in Europe.
Last week, French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin decided to send police reinforcements to Nîmes after cannabis trafficking and gang violence claimed the lives of a 10- and 18-year-old. With Marseille, one of France's main drug trafficking centers, having recorded around 32 deaths mainly linked to marijuana trafficking since the beginning of the year, calls are increasing for the decriminalization or even legalization of cannabis toe.
Call for cannabis legalization
One such call comes from the French Economic, Social and Environmental Council (EESC), which, in an opinion published on August 28, once again called for the controlled legalization of cannabis in France. This is not the first time that the EESC has dealt with this issue. Earlier this year, the council recommended taking steps toward legalizing marijuana as a means to establish an effective prevention policy and combat human trafficking and violence. For radical left MP and chairman of the National Assembly's cannabis study group, Christophe Bex (LFI), decriminalizing cannabis is a matter of 'common sense'.
In 2021, 10,6% of adults aged 18 to 64 used cannabis, according to a report published in December 2022 by the French Observatory of Drugs and Addictive Tendencies (OFDT), in collaboration with Santé publique France. France has one of the most repressive laws in Europe: marijuana use is punishable by a prison sentence of up to one year and a fine of €3.750. Will this policy be quickly adjusted in the future due to drug violence?
Source: euractiv.com (EN)