Recreational cannabis: a legalization acclaimed by a broad citizen consultation

A large majority of some 250,000 people who participated in a citizen consultation on so-called “recreational” cannabis favor the legalization of this drug, the use of which is banned in France, we learned Monday from parliamentary sources.

Some 80.8% of respondents say they agree with an authorization for consumption and production within a framework governed by law, according to the results of this consultation launched in mid-January by a parliamentary fact-finding mission.

13.8% say they are in favor of decriminalization. Conversely, 4.6% are for strengthening sanctions and only 0.8% for maintaining the legal framework in force.

“We now know that the legalization of cannabis is no longer a taboo in France and that our fellow citizens are observing the ineffectiveness of the current legislation in the matter”, said in a press release the rapporteur of the “recreational” section of the parliamentary mission, LREM MP Caroline Janvier.

This online consultation ended on Sunday with a total of 253,194 contributions. By way of comparison, the consultation on the winter / summer time change had reached more than 2 million participations in early 2019, a record for a parliamentary consultation.

“It will be necessary to launch a real popular consultation and why not a referendum”, estimated Sunday on Franceinfo Jean-Baptiste Moreau, LREM deputy of Creuse and general rapporteur of the fact-finding mission. “We will make proposals within a month.”

“Today, we are facing a ban but a record consumption, so the situation is not sustainable,” added the elected official who said he was in favor of legalizing cannabis. “We have a very substantial parallel economy which has been set up and which finances other networks, arms trafficking and others”.

A little over 30% of the respondents to this citizen consultation declared that they had never used cannabis. 38.3% claim to consume it occasionally, 17% regularly and 13.9% claim to have a daily consumption of this narcotic product.

62.4% imagine the sale of cannabis in specialized shops, 24.2% for sale regulated on the alcohol model, 8.6% in tobacconists and 3.8% over the counter.

In the event of legalization or decriminalization, the vast majority of respondents (86%) are in favor of the state allowing individuals to grow cannabis plants themselves within the limits set by law.

The Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, who has made the fight against drug trafficking a priority, said in September that he was opposed to the legalization of “this shit”.

“Recreational” cannabis is one of the areas on which the parliamentary mission looked, after therapeutic cannabis and so-called “well-being” cannabis (cannabidiol, or CBD).

Authorized in 2019 by the National Assembly but postponed by the Covid-19 health crisis, experimentation with therapeutic cannabis (except for smoking) for at least 3,000 patients suffering from serious illnesses must begin no later than March, 31st.

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