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Liberté, égalité, fraternité et …Cannabis

The Marijuana state in France

In December 2014 was published in all comunication media a news that ensured that France would raise 1.800 million every year by cannabis legalization.

This news placed again on the table the debate of cannabis legalization in France, one of the countries where there exist the strongest laws in Europe.

Cannabis de period…

Several French famous writters and philosophers like Charles Baudelaire, Arthur Rimbaud, and Pierre Gautier, wrote the experiences that offered the cannabis consumption.

The French novels during romanticism are full of references to marijuana plants and the alterations in the author’s mind.

As extended was this cannabis culture in France that some renown writers like Hugo, Moreau or Dumas created the “infame Club des Hachischins”, a parisian group dedicated to the exploration of the mental state induced by drugs.

But despite this, France appears positioned on a restrictive stance on the cannabis use.

The french laws

Since the documented history beginnings, the punishment for marijuana possession in France has been really strong if we compare it with the neighbour countries.

France is a country with zero tolerance with the consumption and marijuana possesion, with really restrictive laws with its sale or traffic.

The penalties for its use and possession

The penalties for marijuana or its derivates use and possesion are punished with fines between 56 and 1680€ or even one year in prision.

Some examples

• The own consumption may involve 2 years in prison.
• The exhibition of pictures, photos, etc about cannabis may involve 300€ fine.

Although as a general rule the courts take into account the circumstances of its use, and especially the amount seized to impose sanctions, being a weak punishment, if the amount is insignificant or if the use is medicinal.

However, the professional cultivation, the possession of huge quantities and its traffic can be punished with 10 years in prison. That makes impossible that any international bank seeds want to establish a headquarter in France.

A disappointing fact:

The cannabis plants cultivation in France has been punished with 10 years in prison and a fine until 7,5 M €.

The convictions can be extended to life imprisonment in exceptional cases.

With this legal overview and observing the tough legislation of the French authorities, public pressure has jeopardized the laws since 1994. On this date the authorities and health agencies put under observation the current rules to study more favorable release of marijuana use for the Gauls.

New propositions:

Nowadays and actively since 2010 there is a social movement, held by some liberal parties that don’t only perform in favour of decriminalize the marijuana in France, but also search the recip to explote the cannabis cultivation, opening the possibility to stablish band seeds “made in France”.

But studies go further, and ensure that the limitation to decriminalize the consumption would prevent to control the price and would trigger the demand for cannabis, which is calculated to ascend more than 16% of traffic and more than 12% in consumption.

So they propose new formulations of controlled legalization.

The formulation of legalized marijuana

The option to legalize marijuana cultivation, sale and consumption in a free marked could produce more than 1700 millions. Thus the estimated consumption would increase 20%.

A study made by “Terra Nova” foundation, linked to Hallande party, suggest to decriminalize marijuana and allow its cultivation and production with a State monopoly.

This way the consumption and production would be controlled and the benefits from traffic would full the arks of state with social uses.

This option of state monopoly should be applied in stages:

- In the first stage the production would be controlled making the competence illegal, this would be useful to attract those users of safer markets.
- In the second stage the price would increase 40%, which would prevent its consumption. The same as they have done with tobacco.

This idea seems to de utopic if we think about the legal mark in France, but we do not doubt that the town pressure would get a more favourable form for the cannabis in France.

How much cannabis is consumed in France?

Althought it seems incredible, the hard punishments against cannabis in France do not affect the consumption of this substance, but the contrary.

French are the european people who consume the most marijuana. 42% of population confess to have tasted it once in their life.

8,44% of French population consume habitually cannabis, respectfully 9,6 in Spain, 7% in Holland and 2,7% in Portugal.

The young French people are placed ahead the Europa consumers with 20,75% only below Denmark.

One curiosity:

4,8% of French adults between 15 and 64 years old say that they have comsumed cannabis during the last month, while it is 3,3% in Netherlands and only 2,4% in Portugal.

During 2011 the questionnaires revealed that 24% of 16 years old smoked at least once a month, the most elevated fact of cannabis smokers from Europe.

The legislative repression does not only not control the consumption, but also attracts an illegal traffic market and mafias arround marijuana.

Medicinal Marijuana

Although medicinal cannabis is in France illegal, there exist since 2013 some allowed medicines based on cannabis, thanks to the approval of sanitary decrees and the minister Marisol Touraine.

This exception in the law came as a result of the pressure of multiple sclerosis patients, and activists who were prosecuted for possession and consumption of marijuana and whose sentences were positive or were allowed to self-cultivation.

For example Sativex oral spray, which has been proved to reduce spasticity in patients suffering multiple sclerosis will be available in French pharmacies by the end of 2015 under medical prescription of some choosen doctors, and only if it is the last treatment for such patients.

Certainly a small gap light to the possible legalization of consumption and cultivation of marijuana for medical use in this country.

Where does the cannabis in France come from?

France is the gate of hashish coming from Morocco to United Kingdom, and has a small supply of cannabis imported directly from Holland.

Where to buy it…

In most towns or French cities is quite easy to get marijuana or hashish.
It is true that exist patrols especialized in places where there is a lot of traffic like Paris, Marsella or Cannes, the police connive with joins always when the smokers are bahaving.

The solution, the auto-cultivation

Due to the legal situation in this country it is increasingly common for consumers to opt for self-cultivation. So, a lot of consumers put all and cultivate at home for personal use.

The Midi-Pyrenees, has become the “Rif of Europe” due to the plantations of “guerrilla” hippies established in the area that since the 70s have been cultivating marijuana to supply the bigest French cities.

As a curiose date, the industrial hemp is legal in France. There are lots of companies that use hemps with industrial aims.

There are 20 allowed marijuana variety plants for this aim, without any possibility to produce plants with psychoactive features, because they contain less than 0,2% of THC, and they do not possess benefits for health nor medicinal properties.

However, in this industrial context, is possible to get or obtain seeds coming from bank seeds placed in E.E.U.U and destine them to this alternative.