Led by some members of the presidential majority, the parliamentary mission denies “being lax” and notes the “failure” of public policies.
Legalize cannabis for “take back control»In the face of traffickers and better protect minors: this is what the deputies of a parliamentary mission recommend in a report published on Wednesday, poles apart from the fight against drugs defended by the government.
«For fifty years, prohibition has adopted an unattainable objective, without ever having the means to achieve its ambitions. Regulated legalization is the best way to regain control and protect the French», Summarizes to AFP Caroline Janvier, the LREM deputy who coordinated this work. Led by some members of the presidential majority, the mission denies “be lax»And notes the« failure »of public policies, after multiple hearings of doctors, police officers, magistrates and researchers.
«State helplessly witnesses cannabis trivialization among young people and deterioration of security“Despite a” repressive French policy which is expensive and excessively mobilizes the police “, note the deputies. The budget allocated to the police, the gendarmerie and customs for the fight against drugs has almost doubled between 2012 and 2018 to reach 1.08 billion euros annually, they note. However, France remains the European champion of cannabis consumption, with 5 million annual users and 900,000 daily smokers. In slight decline, the consumption of minors remains twice the European average.
France, third least repressive country
A “failure»Patent health, despite a policy that targets cannabis users more than traffickers. Of the 160,000 drug-related offenses identified in 2020, 81% relate to use. The report debunks in passing the “myth” of a France among the most repressive in Europe. If drug use is punishable by one year in prison and a fine of 3,750 euros, the vast majority of consumers are just getting a reminder of the law or a fine. As for trafficking, the average of the sentences pronounced for the possession of 10 kilos of cannabis ranks France as … the third least repressive European country.
The deputies therefore denounce “the hypocrisy of firm speeches regularly held“. Emmanuel Macron recently made the eradication of drug trafficking “the mother of battles” and his Minister of the Interior Gérald Darmanin greets on Twitter each “dismantling” from “point de deal“. This policy, with its anti-narcotics plan and the introduction since September of a fixed fine for drug use of 200 euros, seems however to the eyes of the deputies “doomed to fail like the previous ones».
Their report reframes the challenges posed by cannabis, with supporting research. Less dangerous for adults than alcohol or tobacco, this drug first of all represents a threat for minors, in whom consumption doubles the risk of schizophrenia or anxiety disorders, or even depression. However, prevention often comes down to one information session per year, organized very randomly depending on the school.
A national debate
If legalized, tax revenues could reach “2 billion euros“And fund this objective as a priority, argue the deputies. “We propose a real risk reduction policy and stop waging war on the user in order to really reorient the police towards the fight against trafficking.», Insists Caroline Janvier.
In this perspective, the report analyzes the legalization underway in Canada and in 15 US states, which seem to translate into a decrease in the consumption of minors and a reduction in the black market. And details the conditions of a possible “French model of regulated legalization“. What price should be set to compete with traffickers? In which places to allow use? Should we create shops forbidden to minors, who have too easy access to alcohol and tobacco in France? How to reintegrate the little hands of the traffic? There are many questions. To settle them, the deputies recommend a national debate in the Assembly, a citizens’ convention as for the climate or even a referendum.
Suggestions to which the executive will not be very sensitive. Ten days before this report, Emmanuel Macron ruled out any legislative change and instead demanded “a major national debate on drug use and its deleterious effects». «The right will not evolve at all on this in the presidential debate, Emmanuel Macron either», Regrets to AFP the deputy LR Robin Reda, who chaired this mission. “We are probably on a post-2022 subject.»