Actuellement, l'usage de stupéfiants est puni d'une amende maximale de 3 750 euros et d'un an d'emprisonnement. Une proposition de loi, adoptée le 7 décembre 2011 par le Sénat, entend modifier ces sanctions. Au lieu d'être un délit, le premier usage - et lui seul - deviendrait une contravention, assortie d'une amende de 68 euros. C'est une "suite logique" aux conclusions d'un rapport publié en juillet 2011 par la mission parlementaire d'information sur les toxicomanies, précise Jacques Mézard, président radical du groupe Rassemblement démocratique et social européen (RDSE) au Sénat, et rapporteur du texte.
Should the use of cannabis be legalised to end the dealing that has poisoned life in France's banlieues, and to guarantee the quality of a substance that is widely consumed but is often of very poor quality? The economist Pierre Kopp, of Paris University, has compared the cost of combating cannabis abuse with its possible cost if legalised. He considers that, as with tobacco use, the key factor in cannabis legalisation would be the duty levied by the state: ideally that duty should be high enough to prevent increased consumption of the substance, while bringing in sufficient revenue to fund prevention.
Napoleon's troops first brought over the mysterious dried leaf called hashish from Egypt in the early 1800s. Soon, it was being sold in pharmacies across France and gaining adherents, especially among the bohemian intellectual crowd. Today, France has some of the most conservative drugs laws in Europe. A high-level parliamentary report released recently concluded that it was impossible to continue "advocating the illusion of abstinence" and recommended that the drug be subject to "controlled legalization."
The issue of legalising cannabis is once again making headlines in France following the release of a parliamentary report on Wednesday recommending that the drug should be subject to “controlled legalisation”. One leading critic of international drug policy doubts that the debate will inspire a sea change in French policy.
The parliamentary report recommends “controlled legalisation” of the cultivation and consumption of cannabis in France. The report, compiled by a working group of the Socialist Party, headed by the former minister of the Interior Daniel Vaillaint, recommends that the cultivation and sale of cannabis should become a state-controlled activity, like the sale of alcohol and tobacco, and concluded that the government cannot continue to “advocate the illusion of abstinence”.See also: Légaliser le cannabis, mode d’emploi, Journal du Dimanche, 16 Juin 2011 (in French)