We are in July 2020, a long time since from L’Obs magazine’s open-letter signed by more than 70 pubic figures and pushing for cannabis legalization in France; a long time since the ultra- repressive system which couldn’t deal with the fact that France is one of the biggest cannabis consumer in the whole of Europe, notably amongst underage kids. We can no longer argue with the fact that it’s been 50 years of useless and wasteful prohibition.
Nowadays, its European neighbors have nothing to envy France for. The economy there is rising above the ceiling. Cannabis costed the state billions of euros, but its legalization ended up bringing a lot of money into the state’s funds including taxation proceeds as well as economic savings on prohibition.
From Le Monde [France’s national newspaper]
The state isn’t the only one taking economic benefits from the legalization of cannabis. Big brands are also surfing the wave. Hemp shirts are trendy, Evian commercialized its « canna-water », for us to stay forever young and more importantly laughing.
Many summer-job opportunities are offered, and students mostly work in coffee shops. Each month, a new facility opens and we can often see homeless people asking for some easy-given weed. Charity is practiced with red eyes and given with a bit of a smile in that way.
There’s not a single day when an underage kid doesn’t ask me if I can buy some cannabis for him. Our coffeeshops are adamant: no cannabis for you, unless you’re an adult. There’s no way we can see young kids breaking up a piece of hash on a sidewalk with a cigarette stuck behind their ear. An adult in France is someone who can buy alcohol, vote, drive a car and roll their joint with the greatest freedom. Now, we can feel genuinely calm in the streets where paranoia reined.
It is in the Montmartre neighborhood, on summer afternoons at dusk, on Sacré-Coeur’s grass, that I like to smoke my joint. On the hill, we can find the « Dumas » : a coffee shop made of stone in which people can read books on cosy couches with a joint in their mouths. It is there that I buy my Lemon Haze before my meeting with the sunset. When I get out of there, the manager gives me a paper where I can read :
Since cannabis legalization, you can kiss goodbye to: resistant neuropathic pains, severe pharmacy-resistant epilepsy, some cancer palliative cares, painful spasticity (squeezing and shaking), multiple sclerosis and other central nervous system pathologies.
We can now thank Paris’s council which approved this legalization, because without it, none of this could have happened.