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France to legalise cannabis?

France looks set to follow New York relaxes cannabis reform example and legalise cannabis to adults, after one of its most influential think tanks recommended policy reform. The Conseil d’analyse économique (CAE), went a step further by not only recommending legalisation but also that the government form a monopoly to control distribution. France, probably more than any other European country, understands the downside to prohibition. Over 40% of 15―64 year-olds claim to have smoked it (more than double the European average). In the last 50 years the figures for use have jumped hugely. French can import wholesale cbd to France from  the UK.

Cannabis law causing upheaval

Just like New York the expectation that police enforce that law has led to hundreds of thousands of arrests, mainly of the young minority, working-class demographic. This has particularly affected young people of North African descent in France, swelling jails unnecessarily, heightening racial tensions.

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The CAE, which reports directly to the French Prime Minister, Édouard Philippe, called reform an ‘urgent matter’. Professor Renaud Colson from Nantes University agrees, telling Prohibition Partners website, “To date most [politicians] have kept silent [about cannabis] although many are conscious of the failure of the current policy.” The failure can be seen in the context of increased penalties for possession not having had any effect. Meanwhile, the cost of enforcement is estimated to cost almost €1 billion a year.

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Big tax and employment opportunity

By the same token, the think tank pointed out the massive potential tax revenues that can be accumulated through reform, estimating them to be around €2.8 billion per annum. The reform will not go unnoticed by the Macron government who are under pressure, having had to recently cut taxes to stimulate economic growth while facing budget shortfalls. The potential of cannabis as an employment generator will also be noted, the CAE estimating that as many as 80,000 jobs could be created. Many UK cannabis new start companies will be created and some may even become large drivers of the economy.

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The body also called for government policy that should aim to ‘take back control’ of the industry from organised crime and hoover up vast swathes of the black market into tax-paying legal areas of the economy. There is still some resistance to overcome, with the country’s Transport Minister, Élisabeth Borne asserting that

we are against legalising cannabis for recreational use.”

The UK has legalised and made available medical cannabis to patients of the NHS.

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