Legalization in Europe: Is France next?

The Legalization Of Marijuana In Europe - Is France The Next?

The legalization of marijuana in Europe

Is France the next?

Marijuana, a controversial issue that normally comes up in Europe during election campaigns, has returned to contention in the presidential race in France. The political debate is less about prohibition or legalization, but about nuances that many qualify as "unavoidable". So, the complete legalization or the simple decriminalization in France?

European legislation


An article by Forbes offers a tour operator of the French situation regarding cannabis. Eight months before the 2017 presidential election, cannabis is invited into the speeches of the candidates. But the plant is a subject of heated controversy among the French electorate. European legislation echoes international law prohibiting the consumption of drugs. However, countries can choose between or not sanctioning their consumption. The political debate is articulated only between two alternatives:

  • Decriminalization means that the use or possession of cannabis is not a criminal offense. But that production and marketing continue to be banned, as in the Netherlands.
  • Legalization puts marijuana on the same level as tobacco. It raises the ban on use, production and distribution. The state replaces the dealers, regulating demand. This by excluding certain consumers, such as minors and others. And undoubtedly for the French case, the marketing will be done through authorized “pharmacies” or dispensaries. even though tobacconists offered to host marijuana ...
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Situation in Europe

None of the members of the European Union has legalized marijuana completely. Spain, Germany, Portugal and the Netherlands, among others, have passed laws that tolerate and regulate the use and sale of small quantities. Dispensaries, stores, coffee shops and clubs are the only places where cannabis can be distributed.

The Coffe Shop Dampkring in Amsterdam

Marijuana is "sort of" decriminalized or "semi-legalized" in the Czech Republic, Belgium, Denmark, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Croatia and Slovenia, where fines are lighter… The “legalization” in these countries only carves the difference between light and hard drugs.

Police snatch 18 000 plants in the Netherlands near the German border

The Czech Republic, for example, has adopted in 2010 a law decriminalizing the possession of narcotic drugs in small quantities.

The Czech Republic the most liberal country with regard to cannabis

THEGermany has a "special" diet. Although possession was still prohibited, a form of tolerance was adopted. The country will certainly approve licenses for therapeutic purposes.

Demonstration in Berlin, in 2015

In 2001, Portugal became the first European country to decriminalize the personal use of cannabis. But its cultivation is considered "criminal" ... The sale is just as illegal. Yet consumption has drastically decreased among young people, which is the reverse of the French case.

Portugal calls for "cannabis social clubs" in 2001

In Italie, some predict that the country will legalize cannabis very soon. This country could become the second country in the world to legalize the plant, after Uruguay. Possession is still prohibited, but not for personal use.

Italy could follow in Uruguay's footsteps

In Spain, the cultivation of cannabis on private property and for personal consumption in a private space is legal. These activities are organized by the “Cannabis Social Clubs”. But the situation is contradictory as elsewhere, the sale is illegal.

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Cyprus is the strictest country. Possession can be punished by eight years in prison ...

The France

The France and the rest of the EU consider the use of drugs, including cannabis, a criminal offense. Possession is always a crime, even if it does not always lead to jail.

Demonstration of "strength" in Paris

More than 80% of French people think that the current punitive legislation (among the most repressive on the continent) is simply ineffective ... 52% would favor some form of legalization according to a 2016 Ipsos poll. Cannabis has become a political issue, and of society. 700 French people consume cannabis daily. While 000 million citizens smoke at least 1,4 joints per month.

15me works for cannabis in Paris (2016)

Five of the seven presidential candidates are in favor of legalizing or decriminalizing the use of cannabis. The main stakeholders are: Benoît Hamon of the Socialist Party, which favors legalization, and Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet of the Republican Party would be for a kind of decriminalization in the form ofcontrolled fines...

For France, the ban on cannabis is a failure. In a column published yesterday in the Journal du Dimanche, 150 personalities from Marseille are calling for an end to the “prohibition of cannabis”. The signatories believe that cannabis is responsible for "highly organized trafficking" in the city of Marseille. Still according to them, the cannabis deal would be responsible for 27 deaths in 2016 in Marseille.

Patrick Mennucci and Marie-Arlette Carlotti are signatories of the call for the “controlled legalization” of cannabis. (Sipa)

The signatories therefore call for “controlled legalization of production, sale and consumption, as it already exists in several countries”. This state regulation would put an end to mafia networks and save taxpayers legal and police resources.

Tags : FranceLawNewsPolicyProhibition

The author Weed-master

Weed media broadcaster and communications manager specializing in legal cannabis. Do you know what they say? knowledge is power. Understand the science behind cannabis medicine, while staying up to date with the latest health related research, treatments and products. Stay up to date with the latest news and ideas on legalization, laws, political movements. Discover tips, tricks and how-to guides from the most seasoned growers on the planet as well as the latest research and findings from the scientific community on the medical qualities of cannabis.