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Council of economists proposes recreational legalization in France

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O French Council of Economic Analysis published a report, which had not been requested by the government, which projects a 2,8 billion Euros annual recreational cannabis market for France. Suggestion of legalization to better combat trafficking has already been discarded by the French government.

The French Council of Economic Analysis (CAE), the body charged with advising the government on policy, noted that despite their strict laws on controlled substances, the French are among Europe's biggest cannabis users.

The CAE estimated that, based on an annual consumption of 500 to 700 tonnes annually, taxes on legal cannabis could bring up to €2,8 billion into French state coffers and create up to 80.000 jobs. On the grounds that taxes on cannabis sales for recreational purposes could help fund efforts to combat trafficking, CAE suggested creating a state monopoly to license the production and sale of cannabis.


Government rejects proposal


Macron's centrist administration has already ruled out the possibility of implementing the suggested proposal, saying that it would only consider legalizing cannabis for medicinal purposes: "The government's position is very clear: we are against legalization for recreational use", said the Minister of Transport. Elisabeth Borne on LCI Television June 20.

It is estimated that around 700.000 people use the drug every day in France, out of a total population of 67 million. “The system of prohibition promoted by France over the last 50 years has been a failure,” the CAE said in the report, accusing prohibition of fueling organized crime.

The report, which was not commissioned by the government, comes at the same time as the growing debate over whether France should follow the example of Uruguay, Canada and several US states in legalizing cannabis for recreational purposes.

 

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