Cannabis: are the French the biggest consumers and the most severely punished in Europe, as Julien Bayou asserts?

Julien Bayou was the guest of franceinfo on Monday 23 August 2021. & nbsp;
Julien Bayou was the guest of franceinfo on Monday 23 August 2021. (FRANCEINFO / RADIOFRANCE)

It is a proposal that comes up often. Julien Bayou, the national secretary of Europe Ecology-The Greens, pleaded on franceinfo Monday, August 23 for a legalization of cannabis. He was questioned about the shootings in recent days in Marseille, which claimed the lives of three people. According to the elected ecologist, the policy pursued for years in France is not working. “It ‘s there repression highest criminal law rate and the highest rate of addiction among minors under 14. It’s a fiasco “, he denounces. This statement is true and the True to False cell explains it to you.

A little more than 30% of those under 16 have already smoked according to a report from Public Health France. It is even more if we extend to the adult population: 45% of French people between the ages of 15 and 64 have consumed cannabis at least once in their life, according to the latest report from the Observatory European Union for drugs and drug addiction published in 2020. This is much more than the European average which is 27%.

There are around five million cannabis users in our country, 900,000 of whom are daily smokers. We are also the “champions” of consumption over the last twelve months among young adults: 22% have smoked against 15% for the European average.

While in the majority of European countries, the use of cannabis is not prohibited by law, it is the case in France. Only seven countries in Europe, including ours, consider its use a criminal offense, which can therefore lead to a prison sentence.

For a year, France has also generalized the fixed fine. A fine of 200 euros which mainly targets cannabis smokers. In six months, more than 43,000 fines were distributed. A figure to be compared to some 91,000 traffic tickets issued each year.

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