The impending presidential election in France is highly likely to bring forth positive changes for those who use cannabis. Noted as the most popular and currently illegal drug there, the harsh penalties that come along with it really aren’t fitting. Five candidates lead the way in the upcoming election. With four of them supporting voter favored changes, odds are that France’s next president is likely to relax cannabis laws.
What Is The Current Law?
At the present time, cannabis remains illegal in France. The law banning illegal drugs, passed in 1970 with the intent to combat drug addiction, seems a dated notion. Considering nearly half of the 17 year-olds surveyed by the French Observatory for Drugs and Addiction claim they’ve used it, cannabis is clearly not only popular but easily accessible. With so many youth admitting to using it, there’s no question that the number of adults who partake is even greater.
As it stands, penalties for using cannabis include a possible prison sentence of up to one year in prison and a hefty fine.
What Changes Are Being Proposed?
The opinions between the candidates differ somewhat on what the next steps should be as far as cannabis goes. One candidate, Marine La Pen, stands alone in supporting the current law. Grouping cannabis together with all other illegal drugs, her stance is that it’s dangerous and should remain illegal and supports the penalties that are in place. Suggesting that legalization and relaxed penalties are crazy, she’d like to see the current law more firmly applied. In comparison with the others running for president, this puts her in the minority.
Those in favor of relaxing the law and penalties are Emmanuel Macron and Francois Fillon. While they both represent different political parties, they’re position on the issue is implementing punishments that better fit the crime. As opposed to prison sentences, they suggest warnings be issued to offenders and in certain cases fines. Surprisingly, the one sector of the community who supports this change is the police force. For them, it will be a relief from the amount of time in court and paperwork involved in crimes regarding cannabis. At present, it’s already very common for them to overlook these offenses.
The other two candidates running for office are Jean-Luc Melenchon and Benoit Hammon. With a more liberal view than the others, they would like to see cannabis legalization.
Why Are Changes Favorable?
Changes in the law regarding cannabis have long been sought out by smaller parties. Now, it has made its way onto the agenda of those in the larger parties and is closer to becoming reality. Reasons suggested for legalization include taxing cannabis sales and being able to better control it.
For Phillip Capon of the French police union, the penalties under the current law are too harsh. In addition to this, he believes it will be in the best interest of the police force. The idea of saved time and police being able to focus on more serious issues would be a beneficial and welcome change.
As opposed to criminal punishment, Capon would like to see other steps taken to combat drug use, such as preventative methods. Tying up the police force and justice system to penalize people for something so many other are doing is only a wast of time and resources.
For the candidates who support a lessening of penalties or full on legalization, its highly probable that they’ve been influenced by the continuous changes taking place across the United States. From legalization of cannabis for medicinal use to legal recreational use, several states are making tremendous strides. It’s also recently been suggested that Canada’s headed towards legalizing its possession. This is a notable trend that the people of France (who would like to see changes in their drug laws) will want to be a part of.
Knowing this is a popular issue with the people of France it makes sense that, in light of progressive cannabis movements throughout the United States, 4 of the top-running candidates support changes to the law.
What Happens Next?
The fate of laws relating to cannabis in France hinge on the results of the nearing election. If a candidate’s elected that has progressive aspirations for changing the laws, the French would reclaim the once acceptable notion of cannabis use.
French Beekeeper Nicolas Trainerbees has created the world’s first “honey pot plants” and the revelation may have way bigger implications like solving the bee crisis.
Since 2006, the 20-year-veteran artisan beekeeper, marijuana grower, and true renaissance man has been studying and looking at the possible symbiotic relationship between bees and cannabis resin (trichomes or kief). It took him a long, sticky eight years, but in 2014, Nicolas hit the jackpot.
His years of trials paid off and he began to notice that the bees’ health seemed to benefit from cannabis and that the bees’ honey also became infused. The bees utilized the marijuana plant’s resinous glands to make propolis, a gooey material (typically from other tree buds) that act as both a sealant for bee hives and as an “antiseptic, antibiotic, and healing” remedy for the bees.
Likewise, the wax produced by these bees could also (allegedly) benefit the human race. Nicolas claims that the bees’ honey is infused with cannabinoids like THC and CBD, and acts as an edible medical marijuana condiment of sorts. He also says that the honey tastes and smells a lot like whichever strain of cannabis is being grown.
As for the bees, it’s hard to determine the extent of their health improvement via one man’s word and without research or studies.
That said, it’s a novel idea, and the mere possibility that a dying breed that creates a vital, medical component (honey) to society might have their savior in the form of cannabis! And for the PETA folks out there, don’t worry: the bees aren’t getting high because they don’t have an endocannabinoid system. Cannabis affects humans because it’s cannabinoids and terpenes bind with endocannabinoid receptors located throughout our brains and bodies.
Conversely, Trainerbee claims they’re much happier and living fuller lives.
French Beekeeper Nicolas Trainerbees
photo credit: Dinafem
Just two days after a new law went into action that allows cannabis users to pay an on-location fine if caught in possession rather than facing a court appearance, officials from French customs seized seven tons of marijuana.
Located in the back of three vans parked in the 16th arrondissement of Paris, the seized cannabis has an estimated street value of €20 million euros (based on the price of 2,500-3,000 euros per kilo). The find came after a weeks-long investigation that led officials to a prior seizure of 320 kilos of cannabis in September and 200 kilos in early October.
Cannabis has become France’s most popular drug, with an estimated 4.6 million occasional users and 700,000 daily users, according to the French Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction. Last year alone featured an 84 percent increase in the amount of cannabis seized over the previous year.
Before the newly activated law, possession was previously punishable with up to a year in jail and a nearly 4,000 euro fine, but the sentences were seldom enforced and usually ended with lighter punishments such as community service.
President Francois Hollande personally went to the Paris suburbs customs investigations unit headquarters to commend those associated with the bust.
photo credit: telegraph
Although it is widely consumed throughout the country, the use, cultivation, sale, and distribution of cannabis is illegal in the United Kingdom under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. However, the use cultivation, sale and distribution of hemp is not illegal. Cannabis and hemp are one-and-the-same, but it only qualifies as hemp as long as the psychoactive cannabinoid, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), content tests below 0.3 percent. In the United Kingdom, the non-psycoactive cannabinoid, cannabidiol (CBD) is recognized as having many health benefits, and therefore is legal. In fact, the first cannabidiol-based epilepsy treatment drug for children was just approved to begin trials in the United Kingdom this week.
A French entrepreneurial team of three, lead by Antonin Cohen, has found a way to introduce the medical benefits of a the cannabinoid, cannabidiol (CBD), to consumers by way of a concentrated oil loaded into vaporizer pens. The electronic vaporizers, called KanaVape have just been released in France and the United Kingdom. Each one will contain 5 percent CBD, and zero THC. The product is not technically illegal because it contains no THC.
All plants used to make the cannabidiol concentrate in KanaVape will be grown only on farms Czech Republic, France and Spain that do not use chemicals or pesticides to treat the crops. This way, all products remain environmentally-friendly, and safe for human consumption.
Lead developer, Cohen (pictured below), is a medical marijuana advocate responsible for founding a medical cannabis association called L’Union Francophone pour les Cannabinoïdes en Médecine, or in English, The Francophone Union for Cannabinoid Medicines. This association was established in 2008, to promote safe access for medical marijuana patients. The association also aims to educate journalists, physicians, patients and non-patient citizens of the country because most studies available are written in English.
KanaVape was released for purchase in France earlier this week, but the French health minister, Marisol Touraine, objects to this product being being available in France for fear that it will encourage the use of cannabis that contains THC. The cannabidiol vaporizer has not yet received any push back from the United Kingdom, so sales are expected to move forward as planned.
photo credit: topvaporreview, independent
The use, cultivation, sale and distribution of cannabis is illegal in France under the United Nations international treaty known as the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961. However, the use cultivation, sale and distribution of hemp is perfectly legal in the country. Cannabis qualifies as hemp as long as the psychoactive cannabinoid, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), content tests below 0.2 percent.
A French entrepreneurial team of three, lead by Antonin Cohen, has found a way to introduce the medical benefits of cannabidiol (CBD) oil by way of vaporizer pens. The electronic vaporizers, called KanaVape (pictured below), are set to be released this month. Each one will contain 5 percent CBD, and no THC.
Lead developer, Cohen (pictured below), is a medical marijuana advocate responsible for founding a medical cannabis association called L’Union Francophone pour les Cannabinoïdes en Médecine, or in English, The Francophone Union for Cannabinoid Medicines. This association was established in 2008, to promote safe access for medical marijuana patients. The associate also aims to educate French journalists, physicians, patients and non-patient citizens of the country because most studies available are written in English, and therefor many people in France just do not have all of the facts about cannabis. The French government and prohibitionists have provided the public with fear propaganda similar to that of the Reefer-Madness campaign in the United States.
KanaVape is being marketed as, “providing a unique cannabinoid experience.” The group is confident that they will not face any legal problems in France because there is no THC in the product. KanaVape will soon be released in France, and other countries throughout Europe.
All plants used to make the cannabidiol concentrate in KanaVape will be grown only on farms Czech Republic, France and Spain that do not use chemicals or pesticides to treat the crops. This way, all products remain environmentally-friendly, and safe for human use.
photo credit: Vice