French election: Four out of five presidential candidates support relaxation of cannabis laws

Four out of the five main candidates in the French presidential election support a relaxation of the country’s cannabis laws.

Under the current law, first passed in 1970, taking any illegal drug carries the risk of a one-year prison sentence and a fine of up to 3,750 euros.

However cannabis remains one of the most popular illegal drugs in France, with 47 per cent of 17-year-olds saying they have tried it, according to a recent survey by the French Observatory for Drugs and Addiction.

Centrist Emmanuel Macron, currently leading polls for the first round of voting on 23 April, and right-wing candidate Francois Fillon, have both said police should issue warnings and on-the-spot fines for cannabis use.

These measures may be designed to appear strict, but are in fact a relaxation of the current law. Officers have welcomed the proposals, saying they will cut down court time and paperwork for an offence that in many cases...

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