Is weed legal in France? Is recreational weed legal in France? If these are your questions, then you stumbled upon the right article. Not only will this article discuss whether is marijuana legal in France, but it will also analyze where the government is at with all the talks of legalization that are underway. So sit back and let me take you on a ‘high’-ly informative journey discussing the legality of cannabis in France.
A Word On Trafficking
The world definitely remembers Frenchy Cannoli for his cannabis evangelist approach to the herb. He managed to change the lives of millions of people with his attempt to raise awareness for cannabis. But some say that he failed to change the perception of his own country.
Unlike our beloved Frenchy, France is known as a country that has restrictive views on cannabis. Up until very recently, the French government was absolutely against the substance and saw it as one of the biggest banes to society. Maybe this was why Frenchy left his motherland to embark on a journey to explore the magic of cannabis.
In France, like most other countries, if you are found to be carrying or bringing drugs to the country via airplane, you can be charged with drug trafficking. This law covered most drugs, including cocaine, methamphetamine, LSD, and our very own Mary Jane. Up until recently, there were no conditions attached to this statement.
However, a bill that came into effect in 2020 changed the conversation a little. The bill states that if the amount of cannabis is less than 50 grams, then the individual can still be charged with trafficking as per the France marijuana law. But the chances are that you will not receive jail time but a small fine. So if you ask me, “Is cannabis legal in France?” The answer is still a ‘no’ but with some conditions.
The Rise Of Medical Cannabis Industry
France as a nation started experimenting with cannabis in 2021, with the help of research conducted over the period of two years and including approximately 3,000 patients. And by March 1, 2022, the French government issued a statement partially legalizing cannabis. The terms will be discussed in detail, but know that the decree sanctioned marijuana cultivation and possessions for medical purposes.
Now, does this mean is it legal to smoke weed in France? Not really, but the government is slowly moving towards that stage. The legal decree was the first credible shift towards cannabis legalization. But there is a small snafu. This law can only be fully implemented once the National Agency for the Safety of Medicines and Health Products establishes a legal supply chain. This regulatory body also needs to create an 11-member committee that aims to serve an advisory role. Therefore, even though the law is in place, there are other technical aspects that are just delaying the legalization process of weed in Paris and other major cities in France.
Read Also: Is Weed Legal In Hawaii?
Legality Of Medical Usage
In order to properly know whether is weed legal in France, we need to analyze the laws that are put in place by the government. This would only help us understand the true status of cannabis in France.
According to Article R. 5132-86 of the French Public Health Code, it is illegal to cultivate, transport, import, export, possession, or distribution. But at the same time, the same bill provides some wiggle room when the conversation shifts to the medicinal usage of cannabis.
While it is illegal to do the aforementioned activities when it comes to cannabis. However, if an authorized pharmaceutical company decides to cultivate, transport, import, export, or distribute cannabis in order to aid the medical cause of cannabis usage.
Subsequently, if we further dissect the bill, it also clarifies what to do if you are an individual grower. If you are somebody who is looking to set up his own cannabis farm for medicinal or from a business perspective. Then, you need to acquire proper authorization from the overseeing organization, which is the National Agency for the Safety of Medicines and Health Products or ANSM.
The same decree is also very clear about the penalties if someone fails to honor the terms of the law. If you are found in violation of the terms, you are liable for a fine that can go as high as EUR 37,500,000 and upto 10 years in prison. So, if you ask me, is weed legal in France? My answer would be, ‘Under certain conditions, failing which you are doomed.’
Road To Complete Legalization
As is apparent already, France currently has one of the most restrictive cannabis laws in Europe. But, in a recent turn of events has made it evident that the country is making some small but gradual progress to complete legalization. Now, complete legalization is a far-off dream that will take years to manifest. But the latest change in France’s attitude towards cannabis is adding some wiggle room for medical cannabis.
In a report recently released by the Interior Ministry of France, the organization has clearly said that it “has Europe’s second-highest consumption levels with around 900,000 daily cannabis users.” Therefore, it is time the government realizes the potential of cannabis and lets the citizens of the country consume cannabis recreationally.
Subsequently, a poll conducted in 2021 by the Institut français d’opinion publique showed that around 51% of the French population of the country believed that legalizing cannabis for recreational as well as medical purposes is the next way forward. Hence, it is just a matter of time before the government realizes what the majority wants and then acts accordingly.
I think now you know the answer to the question of the hour, ‘is weed legal in France?’ I know it might not be the ideal answer that you were looking for when you stumbled upon this article. However, with the positive strides that France is making towards legalization of cannabis, it is not long before you can actually consume cannabis or marijuana products freely in France.
Samik has been a literature student all along and uses his fluidity to write about multi-niche topics. Aspiring to be a professional writer, he tries to analyze his topic from a critical standpoint but still adds a hint of personal perspective to the end product. Being a person having a general inclination toward global politics and documentary filmmaking, he also wishes to write and document more about numerous conflicts that are brewing in the different corners of the globe.