The wave of cannabis legalization is rapidly spreading through several countries all over the world. The global acceptance of cannabis has seen many countries move from prohibition to legalization and many more are soon to follow. The widespread acceptance cannabis is enjoying globally has made many wonder which country will be next to jump on the trend and make it possible for their citizens to enjoy the benefits of cannabis.
Some indications point to the fact that France might be heading along that path. The country recently made it public that it wants the reviews of relevant people on cannabis use, existing cannabis laws, and other key issues. This is why the question on the lips of many in the global cannabis industry is ‘will France will be legalizing Le Cannabis in 2021?’
What we know
The French Government has taken a huge step regarding cannabis by putting forward a public consultation to its populace. This public consultation comes in the form of a questionnaire which enables the government to ask questions from members of the populace on top issues in the country. Results gotten from such public consultations are expected to be worked upon as it shows how the citizens of the country feel about the subject matter.
So far the public consultation has produced some good news despite the fact that the results of the consultation won’t be available for a while. Such consultations in time past tend to have roughly over 30,000 responses from the populace. However, this particular consultation has amassed 175,000 responses in just the first week of release. The public consultation is expected to be available till February 28 and with such a good turnout so far, you can expect more people to use this medium to air their views. The attention from the people already shows that the topic of cannabis is very high on the hearts of the French people.
The advantage of a public consultation
Caroline Janvier, an MP in the La République En Marche party stated that the questionnaire serves as a means to collate the views of the people. It is expected that public consultation will be more effective than opinion polls which tend to yield lesser results. The results of the public consultation can also be used to weigh the view of the people against that of the political class.
It wouldn’t be a surprise if the results of the public consultation show that the views of the people are contrary to the current laws and stance of the federal government. The same happened in the United States where states went ahead to open legal markets for medical and recreational cannabis despite the prohibition by the federal government. As referendums went on and people voted for the legalization of cannabis, more states made the move towards acceptance and legalization.
Is change looming?
The legalization of cannabis in France will be a sharp change from its history of prohibition and opposition that has always been mounted by French leaders in times past. President Macron has put forward the public consultation to help develop statistics and determine facts that can be used to assess the current state of cannabis in the country. The consultation will also serve to explore the uses of cannabis and the potentials of the cannabis market. This is probably because the French government has seen how much the cannabis industry has been institutionalized in some countries and how the citizens are better for it.
If the results of the consultation favor cannabis and the laws are changed, it will be a first as all that cannabis has encountered from French leaders in times past has been opposition. This was evident when an Economic Advisory Committee reported on how marijuana prohibition in the country has failed. Many French leaders rose in opposition to this report by the committee. The health minister then also weighed in on the matter as he equated smoking cannabis to be the same as smoking cigarettes.
Some members of the government have also made moves to change the laws of the government on cannabis. Many at the local level have made strong moves to advocate for the natural herb but they have been faced with strong opposition from the federal level. This is why a public consultation might just be the answer to the situation around cannabis laws in France.
Goals of the consultation
The public consultation put forward by the French government hopes to collate the views of the people on cannabis use and cannabis laws. The consultation is available on the Asseemblée Nationale Website where members of the populace answer series of questions. The structures are structured to know what the people know about cannabis and its use. One question in the questionnaire that addresses this is “Do you think the risk associated with cannabis is the same as, more serious than, or less serious than those associated with alcohol?”
Other questions are also well crafted to know what the people think about the existing policies around cannabis in the country. One question that addresses this is “Do you think the current policies on cannabis are effective in fighting against drug-trafficking.
Classification in France already has cannabis differentiated into four categories.
Recreational marijuana; which is basically what it means everywhere else. One surprising fact is that despite prohibition by the French government, France is still regarded as a primary consumer of cannabis by the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction.
The ‘public consultation’ move by the French government is a significant move that could change the landscape of everything involving cannabis in the country. The results expected by April is going to fully inform the country and the world about the direction the people want France to go regarding cannabis. It’s about to get really exciting for cannabis in Europe, get your popcorn ready!
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