The Economic, Social and Environmental Council (CESE), an advisory body which advises the Government and Parliament, spoke out on Tuesday 24 January in favor of the legalization of cannabis.
During a plenary assembly, 2 ESEC rapporteurs unveiled the outline of the draft opinion “Cannabis: moving away from the status quo, towards regulated legalization”.
The work of the ESEC is based on 10 months of research and hearings in order, first of all, to take stock of the public policies in force and to explore the impact of an evolution of these, of the status quo to legalization through decriminalization. It largely reminds us of the work of the Cannabis Information Mission that resulted in global inaction on CBD, medical cannabis and therapeutic cannabis.
The ESEC also points to a “stinging failure of the policy pursued for fifty years”, namely the repression of drug use which in 1970 aimed to make France a drug-free country. He also insists on the uselessness of the fixed fine of €200 which punishes the simple and public use of cannabis and is above all given to young people in fragile situations and targeted at populations already in difficulty.
He also observes that “from the point of view of public health, the preventive actions carried out are generally ineffective, in particular among young consumers who are increasingly exposed to uncontrolled products”.
Prohibition annihilates any message of prevention, adds the ESEC, and “strongly mobilizes the police and justice services, without any real effect on the scale of trafficking and the level of consumption which remains the highest in Europe”.
Drawing inspiration from the legalization of cannabis in Canada, Malta or even by 2024 in Germany, the ESEC therefore proposes a “framed legalization” of the production, distribution and consumption of cannabis.
While waiting for a paradigm shift, the ESEC calls for a first phase of decriminalization with authorization of cannabis cultivation and Cannabis Social Clubs, as well as work around cannabis screening while driving, which today comes to further punish consumers. of cannabis than driving under the influence of cannabis, traces of THC persisting long after consumption.
This legalization aims above all, explain the two rapporteurs, Florent Compain, spokesperson for Friends of the Earth France and Helno Eyriey, former president of Unef, “public health objectives”, but could also allow ” weaken and dry up as much as possible” the illegal traffic.
“Far from any ideologized position”, the ESEC calls for a broad public debate and to involve “the people who do because they are the ones who know”.
The ESEC is also in favor of a switch to 1% THC in hemp and the expansion of research around cannabis to better understand the interaction of this plant with humans but also to develop these industrial, technological or textile uses. .