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A French Lawmaker Suggests Cannabis Legalization Via Referendum

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Momentum for adult-use cannabis legalization is building, with many countries on the European continent exploring the idea of reforming their cannabis policies to permit adult-use cannabis.

One country that seems to be moving in the right direction is France, which fairly recently updated its cannabis policy to issue fines instead of jail time for personal cannabis possession.

Personal cannabis possession now results in a 200 euro fine instead of the previous penalty of up to a year in jail and a 3,750 euro fine.

Adult-use cannabis legalization faces an uphill battle in France, however, a freshly proposed idea could gain traction. Per LCI:

Will the French be led to decide one day, by referendum, the burning question of recreational cannabis? In any case, this is a hypothesis formulated on Sunday February 28 by the deputy LaREM of the Creuse Jean-Baptiste Moreau, rapporteur for an information mission on the subject.

“We will have to launch a real popular consultation and why not a referendum,” said the latter, this Sunday on France Info. Supporter of legalization to regulate the consumption of cannabis, especially among young people, the deputy believes “that we really need a debate to enlighten citizens on this topic” . “Today, we are facing a ban, but a record consumption. So the situation is not sustainable.” 

As alluded to by the lawmaker that proposed the referendum approach, France is experiencing record-levels for cannabis consumption. Consumptions levels in France are greater than in any other European nation.

Cannabis decriminalization is obviously better than locking people up for cannabis, however, it’s not nearly enough. France needs to get on the right side of history and legalize cannabis for adult-use and let the legal cannabis industry reach its full potential.

Letting voters decide would all but guarantee that France approves cannabis legalization depending on the specific provisions of the measure being proposed. Hopefully voters get that chance.