In the neighboring country, the production, possession, sale and purchase of cannabis is prohibited, not even for medicinal use. The penalties imposed by French law range from economic penalties and prison, depending on the extent of the amount seized. This does not mean that there are no growshops in France, far from it, in fact there are more growshops in Paris than in other European capitals that enjoy softer laws on the matter.
As regards consumption of cannabis, the maximum penalty to which the consumer is exposed in France, it is one year in prison or a maximum fine of 3,750 euros. In addition, in the Gallic country, cannabis consumption involves possession. Although it must be said, that if the amount of cannabis seized is small, usually these people are not processed as long as it can be demonstrated that there is no link with the production or trafficking of marijuana.
The gendarmes usually do is determine that the amount seized is for personal use, then the merchandise is confiscated and proceeds to its destruction. In many cases in which complaints have reached the courts generally, the judge dismisses. What do the French authorities, is to apply a sentence of four years to anyone who has relapsed several times in the same crime. That is, if the person in question is caught several times with cannabis, may have to serve a sentence, regardless of the amount of cannabis seized.
French law also provides for the production of cannabis (even it may be for personal use) and this fact even punishable with sentences of up to 20 years in prison and financial penalties that can amount to 7,500,000 euros. We must also say that, so far, have been very few cannabis growers who have suffered these maximum sentences.
In the past year, the fight against illegal drug trafficking has been strengthened. French Justice is especially hard on those who commit such crimes even if France is not the final destination but simply an airport stopover what tends to happen quite often. There have been cases in which infringements have been classified as “crimes” and if they, are punishable by imprisonment for 10 years, and you can even get to life imprisonment, as well as lead to fines of large sums of euros. Qualified as “crimes” offenses are punished with imprisonment up to 10 years, plus the corresponding fine usual.
A study recently conducted in this country, concludes that they are processed only 10% of those arrested for drug and promptly imprisonment are held for drug use, but represent only 0.4% the total prison population.
Medicinal cannabis, also illegal
France is one of the strictest European countries for cannabis. Proof of this is that it is not even allowed medical cannabis because it is illegal. Three years ago an article in the French Public Health Code was amended to authorize the drugs that were prepared from cannabis, but the medicinal cannabis remains prohibited. And although at the time it was said that in late 2015, Sativex (cannabis-based drug widely used for patients suffering from multiple sclerosis and can legally purchase in 17 European countries) would be on sale in french pharmacies, the truth is that today is not yet marketed in this country.
So strict are the French in this area that partnerships for cannabis also border on illegality, is illegal also because incitement to consume marijuana. You may not promote the legalization of cannabis or agitate for marijuana. However there are associations calling for the legalization of the substance. In the case of the Terra Nova Foundation, which wants to end the repressive policy against marijuana and proposes to legalize the sale, production and consumption as a state monopoly. The Foundation ensures that this proposal, the French Treasury could collect no more and no less than 1,800 million euros annually.
There is another association, Cannabis Sans Frontières, which has even managed representation in Europe and wants to legalize marijuana in France and publicize the many benefits that this plant health.
Illegal but widely consumed
Despite such a restrictive law that prevails in France, marijuana is the most commonly used illicit substance followed by cocaine. So much so that 17 million French say they have used marijuana on occasion it is that the neighboring country is one of the European countries with the most cannabis consumed. This was revealed a few years ago a report by the National Institute of Higher Studies in Security and Justice.
The study added that every Frenchman spent 36 euros a year in drugs, mainly marijuana. Therefore, it proves once again that no use prohibitive policies because legislation as hard as the French in this area, shortly served to avoid France to be a country where more marijuana consumed.
Another study, this time conducted by the Health Barometer, conducted between 2010 and 2014, consumption Regular marijuana in France increased from 2.2% to 3.1% of the population between 18 and 64 years. The study also shows that the increase has occurred in all ages, but especially in women who are between 18 and 40 and men between 18 and 55 years. As the population group most marijuana consumed by young people of 18-25 years. The study found that increased consumption of marijuana is about more and more people have in their homes plants for growing cannabis and consumption.
By Noelia Jiménez, Team Piensa En Verde
In constant struggle for the regulation of cannabis, mainly in the medicinal field.
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