France however, has some of the strictest laws against cannabis of all the European nations. Get caught smoking weed in France and you could pay up to 3,750 euros (around $4,650 US). You could also face up to a year in prison.
Anti-Pot Policy in France Becomes Less Restrictive
Restrictive marijuana laws in France might just be loosening up a bit, though. On Thursday, the French government revealed a new strategy that will make pot prosecution in France a little less restrictive.
Rather than pay thousands of euros, the fines for getting caught with ganja will drop dramatically. According to officials, new fines instead will be 150-200 euros. And rather than get dragged through the French system, those in violation would receive an on-site citation.
According to French MP, Robin Reda, “The fixed fine of 150-200 euros that I propose would enable police officers in the field to stop the legal procedure there and then with the person who has been caught. The advantage of this is that the punishment is immediate and systematic.”
Officials in France who support these new changes believe it will free up both law enforcement and courts that are currently swarmed with non-violent marijuana instances.
According to a recent general population survey, cannabis is the most widely-used drug in France. Cocaine use is second, but trails far behind the percentage of the population that consumes cannabis.
Will France Decriminalize Cannabis?
With worldwide acceptance steadily increasing with weed, could France be one of the next countries that welcomes legal cannabis laws? New laws may be less restrictive, but they don’t mean the country is in any hurry to decriminalize.
Interior Minister Gerard Collomb says no. “There will be no decriminalization of cannabis,” he publicly announced.
French Prime Minister Bruno Le Maire feels the same. “Cannabis must not be legalized,” La Maire said not long ago. “On the other hand, we must take a good hard look at where we have gone wrong. We have the harshest laws in Europe, yet the highest consumption rates.”
Definitely food for thought, Mr. Prime Minister. While France has no plans to lift current cannabis laws, the new strategy the country is taking is certainly a step in the right direction.