cannabis

The French and cannabis: from conviction to openness

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"From condemnation to opening": French people are increasingly in favour of authorising cannabis, provided it is strictly regulated by the state, according to an Ifop* survey for Terra Nova and ECHO Citoyen on Monday. From there to imagine cannabis fields in our countryside, there is only one step that the elected representatives of Creuse do not hesitate to take to revitalize their department.
 
PMore than half of the French (51%) would thus be in favour of "regulating and supervising cannabis", provided that the public authorities set "rules concerning its production, distribution and consumption while maintaining its prohibition in certain cases" (at the wheel, in public places and for minors). However, 40% remains opposed to this.
More than 8 out of 10 respondents (82%) were also in favour of allowing cannabis for medical use under prescription.
 

Opinion on a tipping point

According to the think tank Terra Nova and ECHO Citoyen, which defines itself as a "participative lobby", this study reveals an "opinion that has shifted in recent years from condemnation to openness and is now at a tipping point".
Positions in favour of state regulation of the cannabis market are now around 50% of the population. But this is a controlled opening: the idea of a regulated cannabis market is only envisaged with strong intervention by the public authorities and the maintenance of certain prohibitions. 51% of the French (compared with 40% of a contrary opinion) would thus be in favour of "regulation and supervision of cannabis" which would set "rules concerning its production, distribution and consumption while maintaining its prohibition in certain cases" (in this case, driving, in public places and for minors).
In addition, the French readily acknowledge the positive effects of such a reform (increased tax revenues, product quality, strengthening the fight against the illegal market and trafficking, etc.). And while they fear that it will lead to a trivialization of cannabis use, they no longer fear that it will promote a loss of moral values or the use of other drugs. The dangerousness of cannabis has moreover "clearly been revised downwards", the two organisations note. On a scale of 1 to 10, the French now consider it barely more dangerous (7.8/10) than alcohol (7.7/10) and less dangerous than tobacco (8.2/10).
 
Current repressive policies and means are considered ineffective by the majority of respondents: 64% believe that current laws should be changed and 70% are in favour of a debate on the subject.
It is no longer the necessity but the nature of the change that is under debate. "Terra Nova and ECHO Citizen believe, pointing out that opinion is more divided today". on the alternative policies that should be put in place in the future ".
 
The French are very much in favour of authorising therapeutic cannabis on medical prescription, whatever its form (medicinal, dried flower, oil, extraction, etc.). Similarly, they would like the additional tax revenue that could be derived from a regulated cannabis market to be allocated as a matter of priority to financing the health system, drug prevention/information and the fight against other forms of trafficking. As a sign of the growing maturity of opinion, a large majority of those polled want to see a major debate on these issues in our society.
 

The debate is back on... in Creuse.

On 24 May, Health Minister Agnès Buzyn conceded France's "delay" on the therapeutic use of cannabis, saying she had launched "the debate" with the institutions responsible for drug development.
The elected representatives of Creuse needed no more than that to bring out their project of revitalization of their territory by the creation of a real departmental sector of cultivation of medicinal cannabis. According to the daily newspaper Les EchosEric Correia, President of the Grand Gueret conurbation and Regional Councillor, sees this project as an opportunity for economic development in the Creuse region, which is in the process of desertification and has 118,000 inhabitants and an average unemployment rate of 12 %. An opportunity that would amount to 300,000 potential consumers of a possible medicine, between 500 and 1,000 direct jobs created and financial spin-offs in millions of euros per year.
 
While some 40 countries, including Italy, Spain and the USA, have authorised the cultivation and marketing of cannabis, France remains for the time being on its prohibition positions. As is the use of this plant, which would be punishable by a "lump-sum tort fine" of 300 euros under the draft law on the reform of criminal procedure.
 

Legal vagueness and the blossoming of a new business

There is still a great deal of legal uncertainty about "light" cannabis, which is said to contain virtually no THC, the psychotropic substance of the plant. On the other hand, this product contains cannabidiol (CBD), another molecule of cannabis, not prohibited, which "... is not prohibited in the United States. does not have a euphoric effect and does not alter the perception of reality, but has soothing, anxiolytic and possibly antipsychotic effects. ", the newspaper said... The World...William Lowenstein, addictologist and president of SOS Addictions.
Shops selling this product, marketed in a variety of forms - drinks, syrups, massage oils, etc. - have grasped the interest of this niche and have rushed into it. Is the good joint of yesteryear becoming a product of bobo well-being, like essential oils? No doubt regulatory ambiguities, as well as changes in opinion, will give new entrepreneurs ideas.

READ UP :  Cannabis: the business trip

 
*Survey carried out online from 15 to 18 May 2018 among 2,005 people aged 18 and over, using the quota method.
 
Source: AFP
 

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