Article by Cecilia Rodriguez, Forbes
Marijiuana, a divisive issue that normally resurfaces in Europe during election campaigns, has come home to France’s hotly-contested presidential race.
With eight months to go until the 2017 French presidential election, marijuana – or cannabis, as the French prefer to call it – is an honored guest meme in the candidates’ discourse, and a subject of intense controversy among the French electorate.
But hold on. The political debate is less about interdiction or legalization but, rather, about the nuances of what many are calling “an unavoidable course:” complete legalization or mere decriminalization.
European legislation echoes international law barring consumption of narcotic drugs, although countries can choose whether or not to sanction its use. That detail has given rise to rather peculiar ways to dance around the law, or between the two alternatives.
Decriminalization means that the use or possession of cannabis is not a criminal offence but the production and commercialization continue to be outlawed, as in the Netherlands.