Taming Cannabis in France

Editor’s Note: Today’s post comes from contributing editor Dr. David A. Guba, Jr., of Bard Early College in Baltimore. His new book, Taming Cannabis: Drugs and Empire in Nineteenth Century France, will be released by McGill-Queen’s University Press next month.

The push to legalize cannabis in France, where the drug is widely consumed but prohibited, is gaining momentum.

The grassroots pro-grass activism of NORML France has, in the past decade, been bolstered by growing popular demand and public calls for cannabis legalization by French entrepreneursfarmersphysicians, economists, politicians, and even police unions. In June 2019, seventy public figures signed and published an open letter in the popular news magazine L’Obs decrying the nation’s “costly,” “ineffective” and “repressive” prohibitionist policies and calling for the “supervised legalization” in France in the name of public health and violence prevention. 

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