MP Christelle D’Intorni, member of the Les Républicains party and elected representative of the Alpes-Maritimes, wishes to table a bill which would considerably increase the fines for cannabis consumption.
Currently, people caught in the act of consuming or possessing cannabis on the public highway are punished with a fine of 150 euros and a criminal record, as long as they respect a few conditions – having their identity card on oneself and being of legal age, for example.
Ms. D’Intorni, however, believes that this device is not a deterrent and wants to create “a real electric shock” by attacking consumers more broadly to reduce traffic.
In order to crack down more harshly on cannabis consumption, it proposes increasing the fine to 10,000 euros, and 15,000 euros in the event of a repeat offence, but also confiscating vehicles which have been used to purchase illicit substances, abolishing consumer grants and family allowances for parents of minor children caught in a situation of recidivism.
Beyond the fine, instead of the “one year in prison and a €3,750 fine” to which the use of cannabis in France is still liable, she wishes to increase the penalties to 2 years in prison and 45,000 € fine.
While there is no doubt that cannabis use is rampant in France, the question of whether increasing fines is the best way to tackle the problem will be debated. Today, only 34% of fines are actually paid. They are also mainly addressed to young people in the suburbs and have so far had no other effect than to impose fines.
Ms. D’Intorni’s proposal can be seen as a nod to the security side of the current drug policy, without any proposal for the health part. She will also be received soon by the Minister of the Interior Gérald Darmanin and not by the Minister of Health François Braun, who theoretically deals, like his European counterparts, with addictions and drugs.
It will then remain to be seen whether the proposal will actually be tabled and whether it would then find enough votes in the Assembly.