The deputies largely voted in committee in favor of experimentation with the medical use of cannabis, even if some elected officials wondered about the signal sent to young people or the question of the production of the substance.
The amendment by rapporteur Olivier Véran (LREM) to the Social Security's draft budget for 2020 provides, on an experimental basis, for two years, to authorize the medical use of cannabis. It was adopted "by a very large majority" in the Social Affairs Committee, according to a parliamentary source.
The experiment should involve around 3.000 patients, to treat pain related, for example, to cancer or multiple sclerosis, explained Mr. Véran. 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 that he had seen patients who "only hold up" by consuming cannabis, pointing " a lot of hypocrisy ”on the subject.
The amendment will have to be voted again next week in the hemicycle to be incorporated into the draft budget.
Members of Parliament 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 that in France, "patients are procured in the illegal circuit".
Some deputies, including Stéphane Viry (LR) or Philippe Vigier (Libertés et Territoires) nevertheless wondered about the cannabis production needs arising from this new possibility. 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 Medicines Safety Agency (ANSM) will be "responsible for obtaining" the product from countries where it is "already considered as a medicine", rejecting any incitement to "Develop a production chain".
"We are talking about 3000 patients, not an astronomical number of people who would pass under the cloak of bags of + weed +", he insisted.
The two-year experiment should involve around 3000 patients, to treat pain related, for example, to cancer or multiple sclerosis.
The National Medicines Safety Agency (ANSM) will be "responsible for obtaining" the product from countries where it is "already considered as a medicine", rejecting any incentive to "develop a production chain".
Several elected officials also wondered about the calendar while a parliamentary fact-finding mission is working on the “uses of cannabis”.
To elected officials such as Cyrille Isaac-Sibille (MoDem) wondering about the signal sent to young people, Mr. Véran replied that he did not believe that they "wait until we talk about medical use to be interested in cannabis, alas" .