French Medical Cannabis Public Policy Experiment Is Underway
At one point France had one of the worst cannabis policies in Europe, with personal possession carrying a penalty of jail time and thousands of dollars in fines.
Fortunately, that changed recently and now cannabis possession is decriminalized and carries a much lower fine. It’s obviously not as good as outright legalization, but it’s certainly an improvement compared to the previous policy.
The nation-wide decriminalization policy change came after a public policy experiment in which certain parts of France instituted a temporary decriminalization policy, and after that proved to be successful, the policy was enacted across France.
Another cannabis-related public policy experiment is underway in France, this time focusing on medical cannabis. Per ABC:
France’s government launched a two-year nationwide experiment with medical marijuana Friday with a view to its eventual legalization.
Some 3,000 patients around the country will be given medical cannabis treatments and their health will be monitored by the national medicines watchdog, the Health Ministry said in a statement. The first prescription was issued Friday at the Clermont-Ferrand University Hospital in southern France.
The goal is to gather data about the effectiveness and safety of therapeutic marijuana, and to prepare eventual logistical circuits for future distribution, the ministry said.
If lawmakers and regulators in France take a truly objective approach to this experiment, it’s virtually guaranteed that the experiment will prove to be successful.
After all, a number of countries have already legalized cannabis for medical use, including and especially in Europe. If medical cannabis can work in those countries, then so too can it work in France.
The suffering patients in France deserve to have safe, legal access to a proven medicine, and to be governed by cannabis policies that are based on science, logic, and compassion.