France and the decriminalisation of cannabis

Cécile Duflot, the new Minister of housing, argued on June 5 for the decriminalisation of consumption of cannabis in France.

A few days after the elections, this announcement is scandal on both the left and right of French politics..

 The Right said that this decision was irresponsible. The left says that this is the opinion of Cécile Duflot and not a policy position of the left.


The Prime Minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, says that the Government has never addressed this subject. And the Minister of the Interior, Manuel Valls, formally opposed to the legalisation and decriminalisation and said they were against "the values of the left".


Cécile Duflot comes shortly after the words of François Rebsamen- Senator-Mayor of Dijon, during a meeting of support to François Holland - who had tried to revive the debate on the relaxation of  law on his consumption of cannabis.

François Rebsamen adds that "today youth who smoke cannabis in the street have their DNA  placed on file   when, in reality, it is therapeutic and preventive care that there isneeded".

The former Socialist Minister of the Interior, Daniel Vaillant, intervened. He supported  new legalisation for controlling the consumption of cannabis in the last presidential term. In an interview on the radio, he said that the former right-wing government which dramatically fighting the drug with a strong repression, had obtained no results and that it was time to reform drug policy.


Daniel Cohn-Bendit, of the Group Europe ecology, supports Cécile Duflot for a drug control. On the radio, he said that the decriminalisation of cannabis would "break the mafia". "Today, as it is forbidden, you make money." The quality of what are you sold, you cannot control it. "Decriminalising goes hand in hand with a drug control, with control of the distribution and perhaps for public health a plus."


The right welcomed the remarks of Cécile Duflot, not in support, but to discredit the left party. The right has always been for a strong crackdown on the use of drugs. The right insists on education of children and the danger of drugs if they are brought to be legalised.


Politicians attempt to open the debate. But the France is not yet ready to hear about decriminalisation of drugs. The word decriminalisation is equated  with irresponsibility. However, we should remember that  decriminalisation supports  treatment and the care of drug users at the expense of inefficient repression.