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AFP
May 6, 2021

France should legalise cannabis, says MPs report

AFP
May 6, 2021

PARIS: France should legalise cannabis so as to regain control of sales and better protect minors, a group of cross-party MPs said in a report on Wednesday, a finding at odds with the government’s tough anti-drugs stance.

Despite an expensive clampdown approach that excessively mobilises the police, “the state is helplessly witnessing the normalisation of cannabis for young people and the deterioration of security”, MPs said in the report. The budget allocated to police and border controls for anti-drugs policies almost doubled between 2012 and 2018, reaching 1.08 billion euros (around $1.30 billion) a year.

Yet France has the highest cannabis consumption in the European Union, with 5 million users a year and 900,000 daily users. “A regulated legalisation is the best way to take back control and protect the French,” coordinator of the report Caroline Janvier, from Macron’s ruling Republic on the Move party, told AFP.

Use of drugs is punishable by up to one year in prison and a 3,750-euro (around $4,500) fine, but in practice harsh sentences are very rarely handed out. The government’s new policies of dismantling drug-dealing spots and issuing on-the-spot 200-euro fines are doomed to fail like their predecessors, said the report.