French politician Daniel Vaillant for cannabis legalisation
French society is a having major debate on the legalisation of cannabis.
Indeed, Daniel Vaillant,Minister of the Relations with Parliament from 1997 to 2000 and Interior Minister from 2000 to 2002, is trying to convince France legalize cannabis.
The Deputy ( Member of the parliament) of the 18th district of Paris, which has a huge population of cannabis users, has already in 2003 proposed a new cannabis legislation.
He is now the instigator report by leftwing congressmen.
This report shows some figures that could be in favour depenalisation. Indeed, we learn that in France the level of consumption by young people aged 15 to 24 is the highest in Europe whilst it has the harshest laws.
The main goal of this report is the reduction of the cannabis use by changing the 1970 law. This law punish the basic use of cannabis for 1 year in jail and 7500 euros of fines.
The cannabis is the most used illicit drug in France. In 2005, near 4 million people have used cannabis at least once , so an increase of 600,000 people since 1999. Among these 4 millions there is 1,200,000 usual users.
In the same time conviction for use doubled between 2002 and 2008. While there were less convictions for trafficking in the same period.
These statistics show that the current law is not effective at limiting cannabis use and especially use by young people.
Thus, a new law could be more effective to reduce cannabis use. Indeed, French society of 2010 is not the same of 1970.
In 1970 people were more conservative and cannabis use less culturally established.
The members of the French parliament give some solutions in how this could work.
They plan to create a national firm of cannabis such as existed for tobacco before 1995.
The state would produce cannabis in sufficient quantity and be aware of any deficiencies in production which could create a new illegal market.
The government would distribute cannabis through government shops.
In order to do this two things are proposed , retail outlets and a place to smoke the cannabis.
As a safeguard there would be increased use of drug testing for cannabis amongst drivers and anybody involved in criminal activity.
This proposition takes into account the reality of the change in French society.
Now the final decision belongs to the French politicians but we know it will be difficult to act in favour cannabis depenalisation.
Indeed, French society is conservative when it comes to drugs and for politicians it is a risk which might cost votes