MEPs largely voted in favor of experimenting with the medical use of cannabis, even though some elected officials questioned the signal sent to young people or the question of the production of the substance.
The amendment of the rapporteur Olivier Véran (LREM) to the draft budget of the Safely for 2020 provides experimental, for two years, to authorize the medical use of cannabis. It was adopted "by a very large majority" in Social Affairs Committee, according to a parliamentary source.
The experiment should involve about 3.000 patients, to treat pain related for example to cancer or multiple sclerosis, explained Mr. Veran. It will be done on medical prescription in several hospitals, and the substance can be administered in the form of "dried flowers, oils or herbal teas".
Stressing that "17 countries of the European Union have already authorized it in different forms", Mr. Véran, a neurologist by profession, said he saw patients who "hold out" only by using cannabis, pointing " a lot of hypocrisy "on the subject.
The amendment will have to be reopened next week in the hemicycle to be included in the draft budget.
Deputies from all sides were in favor of this experiment, like Jean-Pierre Door (LR), Alain Bruneel (PCF), Paul Christophe (UDI-Agir) or Adrien Quatennens (LFI) who underlined in France, "patients get (in) in the illegal circuit".
Some MPs, including Stéphane Viry (LR) or Philippe Vigier (Liberties and Territories) have nevertheless questioned the need for cannabis production arising from this new opportunity. On this point, Mr Quatennens considered that the amendment opens "Pandora's box", Boris Vallaud (PS) pleading, "if there is a windfall", so that it remains public.
Olivier Véran replied that as part of the experiment, the National Agency for Drug Safety (ANSM) will be "responsible for procuring" the product from countries where it is "considered already as a drug", rejecting any incentive to "Develop a production chain".
"We are talking about 3000 patients, not an astronomical number of people who would be shelling under the cover of + beuh bags," he insisted.
The two-year trial should involve about 3000 patients, to treat pain related for example to cancer or multiple sclerosis.
The National Agency for Drug Safety (ANSM) will be "responsible for procuring" the product from countries where it is "already considered as a drug", rejecting any incentive to "develop a production chain".
Several elected officials also wondered about the calendar while a parliamentary information mission is working on the "uses of cannabis".
Elected to elected officials such as Cyrille Isaac-Sibille (MoDem) questioning the signal sent to young people, Mr. Véran answered not to believe that they "expect that we speak of medical use to be interested in cannabis, alas" .