- 1. A recent study shows that alcohol is more dangerous for the brain than cannabis. However, in France, the law on products made from them imposes prohibition.
A recent study shows that alcohol is more dangerous for the brain than cannabis. However, in France, the law on products made from them imposes prohibition.
One of the questions increasingly raised by cannabis consumers in France concerns the difference in treatment. Cannabis has demonstrated its inability to kill anyone. However, in front of him, alcohol is sold legally.
For the brain, alcohol more dangerous than cannabis
The last communication date from the University of Colorado Boulder shows that cannabinoids are much less harmful to the brain than alcohol.
The initial objective of this research was simple. For Kent Hutchinson, professor of behavioral neurology, it was a question of lifting the veil on the effects of cannabis on the brain. Decades of research gave conflicting results.
“With alcohol, we've known it's bad for the brain for decades,” Hutchison said. “But about cannabis, we know so little. "
As part of this scan, the brains of more than 1000 people were sifted through. The result is final. Long-term alcohol use causes much more damage to the brain than cannabis.
The researchers looked at the two parts of the brain: gray matter and white matter. Gray matter houses the cell bodies of neurons, and white matter, on the other hand, contains the axons of nerve cells protected by a myelin sheath.
Thus, with alcohol the gray matter sees its size affected and the integrity of the white matter is affected.
“Although cannabis could also have negative consequences, it is far from the negative consequences of alcohol,” according to Professor Hutchison.
Indeed, this study did not look at the positive effects of cannabis. She especially wanted to compare it to alcohol. However, other studies have looked at the benefits of cannabis on the brain.
Why in the face of science, the French law maintains a prohibition?
The results offered by the University of Colorado Boulder are only the latest. Many studies have shown the real potential of cannabis.
Understanding France's position in this area involves delving into the complex links between politics and industrial interests.
A love story between agricultural France and alcohol
In this understanding, we must note the long tradition of French viticulture. If the most popular and well-known vineyards are located south of the Loire, in the Middle Ages the wine was produced throughout the territory. There was a necessity: it was necessary to provide wine for masses.
If there was indeed a Moroccan Board of Kifs and Tobacco, built on French capital, it had little impact on French agricultural culture.
They are therefore powerful agricultural lobbies who fear that part of their profits will be diverted to cannabis, if it were legalized. It is indeed this that it takes place in countries that have authorized cannabis. The first of these pressure groups is the FNSEA (National Federation of Farmers' Unions). Its objective is to protect the interests of its profession, and this therefore includes winegrowers.
It is thus the entire agricultural world that is mobilized behind this profession. And the latter is over-represented in the political world in relation to its share in the population. The last legislative elections in 2017 were a perfect example. There have been 126 candidates farmers. Seventeen of them obtained the number of votes necessary to access the Hemicycle.
Their strength lies in their ability to mobilize electorally but also during events, such as the agricultural show. No politician can afford to escape it.
Note also that Mitterrand, Chirac and Hollande, that is to say three presidents out of the last five, were deputies from a constituency close to the agricultural world. Special mention for Jacques Chirac who, after his stint as Minister of Agriculture between 1972 and 1974, remained a staunch defender of farmers.
Links between politics and the alcohol industry
If the winegrowers have made it possible to maintain their advantages, they are not the only ones. The industrial alcohol sector in France is very important.
We often forget what the M and H mean in the French group LVMH. M for Moët champagnes, and H for Hennessy spirits.
The boss of LVMH, Bernard Arnault is simply the first fortune of France. More interestingly, these connections with the political world. He was thus one of the witnesses to the marriage of Nicolas Sarkozy with his previous wife, Cécilia. More interestingly, the two sons of Mr. Arnault had as French teacher the current First Lady, Brigitte Macron. The latter's husband, Emmanuel Macron, had also been supported by Bernard Arnault during the 2017 presidential election.
These links between the alcohol industry and the political world are not recent, and we could recall that the former number two of Ricard, another French alcohol giant now Pernod Ricard, was Charles Pasqua . In 2015, Pernod Ricard had a turnover of more than 8 billion euros.
We therefore better understand this equation, linking the fear of an erosion of profits, political lobbying to the national assembly and industrialists linking up with the country's leaders. This mixture blocks all debates and prevents progress, even despite scientific advances.