French Senators Petition Macron’s Government For Urgent Cannabis Reform


OVER 30 senators from the Socialist, Ecologist and Republican group have called for the launch of a consultation process to introduce new laws to legalize cannabis in France. 

The co-signed letter from 31 senators, published in the Le Monde newspaper explores several options for the legalization of cannabis – and rejects the notion of decriminalization, saying it is a demagogue option, which will merely ‘perpetuate the existing ban’.

On August 10, Le Monde published the rallying call with the senators, saying it is time to face ‘reality head-on’. They went on to say the current situation is ‘unsustainable’. 

The letter calls for the launch of a wide-ranging consultation that will culminate in proposing a new law to legalize cannabis for adult consumption in France. 

Decriminalization ‘A Cynical And Populist’ Option

Among the signatories are socialists Patrick Kanner, and David Assouline, senators from the North and from Paris, respectively.

The letter says: “Almost 18 million of our fellow citizens have used cannabis recreationally, according to a recent report by the National Assembly. Although it is banned, 1.5 million consume it regularly.”

The senators argue, therefore, that the legalization of cannabis is a social issue that public authorities must adopt and it is up to the Government to respond to the legitimate concerns that exist.

The letter contends that decriminalization is a ‘cynical and populist’ option; one that is ‘characterized by the maintenance of the prohibition with the elimination of the penalties incurred’.  

And, they continue by saying decriminalisation merely ‘buys social peace with a certain cynicism’ and they go on to categorically reject this ‘demagogue and populist option’.

Protecting Country’s Youth

In the letter, the senators present arguments in favour of another legalization. 

The letter compares this legal measure with existing public policies for tobacco and alcohol or even gambling, adding that legalization will provide the means to act more effectively to better protect citizens and especially young people.

Ultimately, the senators believe that the state will be able to earn tax revenues from these markets and even claim to boost the economy, especially in the areas of justice and security forces.

In June 2019, 70 doctors, economists and other professionals wrote a column in L’Obs explaining why they wanted to legalize cannabis.

The Senate is the upper house of the French Parliament and sits alongside the lower chamber – the National Assembly. It is made up of 348 senators elected by part of the country’s local councillors and French citizens living abroad.

Region: France

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