The French Presidential Election Offers A Clear Choice On Drug Policy

France’s national motto, dating back to the French Revolution, is “Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité.” How the two finalists for the French presidency embody those principles depends on how you define them.

Liberty can mean freedom from tyranny, but tyranny can take many forms: an overreaching government, poverty, or, in a sense, addiction to harmful and illegal drugs. Equality can mean everyone is treated the same under the law, or that potentially harmful vices are punished equally. Fraternity can mean solidarity among people with common interests, or it can mean people helping each other in ways such as helping drug addicts find drug rehabs instead of putting them in prison.

Politics often turns on semantics. Now that the French election has come down to the National Front’s Marine Le Pen and En Marche!’s Emmanuel Macron, perhaps they will better define their differences on a host of issues, including illegal drug policy. In...

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