MEPs launch a mission to change the regulatory framework for cannabis in France
A parliamentary fact-finding mission on cannabis officially launched its work on Tuesday in the hope of “overcoming” the debate, recurrent in France, around its recreational or therapeutic use.
"There is an urgency of the subject because our country has fairly repressive legislation on the use of narcotic drugs" but "it is in France where we consume the most", declared the deputy LR Robin Reda, president of the mission, during a press conference at the National Assembly.
In total, five million French people declare that they have already used cannabis. To change the criminal response, a fixed fine of 200 euros must soon be tried to sanction consumers.
The mission, which will deliver its first conclusions in the second half, aims to draw up an inventory of the issues at the same time sanitary, security, economic and agricultural, around the use of cannabis and the production of hemp.
"This is a question very little known to our citizens" and it "is not limited to the question of cannabis as a drug", continued the deputy.
"It will be necessary to exceed the question as much as possible because the debate is often hysterical", also underlined Jean-Baptiste Moreau, LREM deputy and general rapporteur of the mission.
"We will have to get out of the dogma because we have refused any development for years", he also declared, while assuring that the objective of the work was not to lead to a "total legalization".
The mission, whose work will focus on three main uses of cannabis - therapeutic, recreational and for “well-being” - will also study the situation abroad, and especially in the United States where several states have taken the plunge of legalization.
Pointing to a “legal vagueness” on the marketing of cannabis products, the members of the mission believe that France is currently “transposing” European regulations by prohibiting all “products derived from hemp flower” and by restricting the use of 'use of hemp “for the sole sale of fibers and seeds”.
These products promote “reduction of stress and anxiety, improved sleep and recovery” and can be consumed in the form of food, liquid, vaporized or cosmetic products, underline these elected officials.
The trial of cannabis for medical use, for which the drug agency (ANSM) has given its approval, will begin in a few weeks in France and will be at the heart of the mission's first hearing.