France to Effectively Decriminalize Cannabis by Ending Prison Terms

In a move much of the rest of the world would do well to imitate, France has taken a big step toward criminal justice reform. 

As a spokesperson recently noted, by the end of 2017 France will have effectively decriminalized cannabis, as prison terms for cannabis users are coming to an end.

Currently, French laws consider cannabis use a criminal offense, punishable by up to a 3750 Euro fine and a year in prison. 

Though officially cannabis will remain a criminal offense in the future, this move will effectively decriminalize it by removing the prison terms. And, one may suspect that given the sweeping reforms new French President Emmanuel Macron has proposed, further changes are coming, including a likely removal of the fines as well.

As government spokesperson Christophe Casaner recently stated:

“Last year, 180,000 people were found to be in violation of drug laws. On average these cases take up six hours of police time and the same amount for the presiding magistrate.”

He added:

“What is important today is to be effective, and above all to free up time for our police so they can focus more on essential matters.”

Clearly, the French government is realizing there are more important things to spend their police resources on. 

As Patrice Ribeiro of the French police officers’ union noted:

“Most policemen who arrest a user tell him to throw the joint away and then let them move on.”

And these changes will affect life for many French - in a positive way. The French Observatory for Drug Use and Addiction reported that in 2014, 17 million French citizens said they had taken cannabis at some point in their lives. 

There are estimated 700,000 daily cannabis users in France... 

That's a big change for a whole lot of people!

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France to Effectively Decriminalize Cannabis by Ending Prison Terms France to Effectively Decriminalize Cannabis by Ending Prison Terms Reviewed by matt on 19:41:00 Rating: 5
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