The incumbent French president has launched his campaign by visiting one of the country's most dangerous municipalities to promise tough action against drug gangs.
Emmanuel Macron, who has been in power since 2017, wants to get serious about tackling gang murders and drug trafficking – and to show his determination he chose to visit Marseille, where 11 drug-related murders have been reported this year so far .
While Mr Macron is against drugs, the French president has been criticized for the lack of focus on stopping the war on drugs on the streets. A solution mentioned would provide an overview of the country's drug policy, starting with cannabis.
French people seem ready for legal cannabis market. And Macron?
Research has shown several times that the vast majority of France wants a legal cannabis market, which could lead people to turn away from violent drug gangs.
Cannabis lawyer French MP François-Michel Lambert, the deputy of LEF, made headlines when he held up a cannabis joint in the French Assembly.
He thereby said: “Legalisation, controlled by the state, would allow, in addition to guaranteeing consumers of controlled products, to dry up trade and thereby create tax revenues and jobs. It could be accompanied by a real prevention policy aimed at young people to reduce consumption and risks."
“I might be concerned about promoting the legalization of cannabis. Just lighting up a joint can also cause a scandal.”
He indicates in an interview that France is at an impasse against Europe, which is making its legislation regarding cannabis more flexible in several countries.
On the current approach to drug and cannabis policy in France, he says:
“Our security forces spend thousands of hours a year pumping out the ocean with a teaspoon to no avail. Cannabis consumption continues to increase with uncontrollable products, often adulterated and heavily loaded with THC, without any appropriate public health policies.”
While the gang wars on the French streets aren't all about cannabis – as other drugs may be more valuable to black market organizations – if Emmanuel Macron really wants to tackle his country's drug problems, changing cannabis policies could be a good first step. .
The change would help five million people, maybe even more. Only visiting Marseille to be portrayed as a strong leader will not solve the puzzle – actions and decisiveness, of course, will.