“What is important today is to be effective, and above all to free up time for our police so they can focus more on essential matters.”
Is Policing Cannabis Use Essential?
Consequently, what the French government is saying is that policing cannabis users is not essential. What is happening more frequently are scenarios where police officers are turning a blind eye when it comes to recreational cannabis use. Patrice Ribeiro of the French police officers’ union, stated:
“Most policemen who arrest a user tell him to throw the joint away and then let them move on”.
Although these changes in the enforcement of cannabis use laws in France may seem small, they are likely to free up some of the country’s judicial resources. The French Observatory for Drug Use and Addiction reported that in 2014, 17 million French citizens said they had taken cannabis at some point in their lives. There are estimated 700,000 daily cannabis users in France.