A group of 31 senators from the “Socialist, Ecologist and Republican” group is committed to launching a consultation process to introduce a law to legalize cannabis in France. The group published in the newspaper “Le Monde” an article where he exposes several arguments for the legalization of cannabis and rejects the hypothesis of decriminalization, saying that it is a “demagogue” option, which “maintains the ban”.
The European trend towards legalizing cannabis is starting to show signs of spreading. The newspaper Le Monde published, on the 10th of August, a column where several arguments for the legalization of cannabis are presented. Signed by 31 French senators, the text explains that they face “reality head-on: the situation is unsustainable”. The letter is the kick-off for the launch of a broad consultation that will culminate in proposing a law that legalizes cannabis for adult consumption in France. Among the signatories are socialists Patrick Kanner or David Assouline, senators from the North and from Paris, respectively.
The letter is peremptory and exposes the French reality:
“Almost 18 million of our fellow citizens have used cannabis recreationally, according to a recent report by the National Assembly. Although it is banned, 1,5 million consume it regularly.”
The senators argue, therefore, that the legalization of cannabis is a social issue that public authorities must take up, and it is up to the legislator to respond to legitimate concerns that exist.
Decriminalization Refusal: A “Demagogue” Option That “Keeps the Prohibition”
The letter signed by the 31 senators points out decriminalization and legalization as options for cannabis regulation. Regarding decriminalization, which is the Portuguese legal regime regarding cannabis, the senators are direct and direct: “decriminalization is characterized by the maintenance of the prohibition with the elimination of the penalties incurred”. The senators also claim that decriminalization is a waiver of public power, which deprives itself of the means of action. Senators characterize decriminalization as “buying social peace with a certain cynicism” and categorically reject this “demagogue and populist option”.
Control the sanitary quality of products and collect taxation
In the letter, the senators present arguments in favor, in favor of another path: legalization. The letter compares this legal measure with existing public policies for tobacco and alcohol or even gambling, adding that legalization will provide the means to act more effectively to better protect citizens and especially young people.
Ultimately, the senators believe that they will be able to earn tax revenue from these markets and even claim to have some impact on the economy, especially in the areas of justice and security forces.
As early as June 2019, doctors, economists and other professionals had written a column in L'Obs explaining why they wanted to legalize cannabis.