France's New President to Invest Heavily in Marijuana Arrests

France's new president, François Hollande, has vowed to continue France's expensive addiction to repressive drug policies. Tom Blickman reports for the Transnational Institute:

Hollande's choice as Minister of the Interior, Manuel Valls, is a declared opponent to any reform on cannabis. During the election campaign, Hollande already opposed the proposal to convert the criminal offence of cannabis use into misdemeanour, put forward by his security adviser and mayor of Dijon, François Rebsamen. Hollande did not want to "give any signal foregoing a deterrent against the use of cannabis."

 

Hollande's comment begs the question, "what deterrent?" The president has presumably heard of something called "data." What do available data suggest about France's current marijuana policy?

The data suggest it is a failure. According to the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), France's adults (age 15-64) in their most recent national survey had a 4.8% past-month cannabis use prevalence, compared with 3.3% under the Dutch "coffee shop" tolerance system and 2.4% under Portugal's far reaching decriminalization. Young adults in France (15-34) reported 9.8% past-month prevalence, compared with 5.6% and 4.5% in the Netherlands and Portugal. Among youth aged 15-24, France boasts a 12.7% past-month cannabis use rate, vs. 5.3% and 4.1% in the Netherlands and Portugal. These numbers go back to 2005 and 2007, but things are similar enough today to make the point. As the World Health Organization concluded in a 2008 global study, harsh drug laws do not correlate simply with drug use rates.

Hollande's opposition to drug policy reform comes at a time of deep economic crisis, with Hollande personally under significant pressure to scale back his opposition to the unpopular austerity measures he campaigned against, in order to be able to work with countries like Germany to save the Eurozone. But marijuana enforcement, while providing some jobs for French police officers, mostly forces more austerity on the rest of the country. According to Blickman, the unsuccessful candidate for Hollande's interior minister pick, François Rebsamen, pointed out, "There are 142,000 cannabis procedures per year, corresponding to hundreds of thousands of hours of work for the police producing only 24,000 prosecutions." Paris University economist Pierre Kopp has found that "The state could save about €300 million on spending arising out of [marijuana] arrests, or perhaps even more if you include the cost of custody, the running of courts and the enforcement of sentences. The state would also receive duty worth about €1 billion."

Hollande's sorry start on the issue provides a useful reminder that reformers need to exert pressure on politicians of all stripes to hold them to account. It's generally believed that left-leaning politicos are better on issues like drug policy than their opponents, and that's true more often than not. Factions within Hollande's Socialist Party have even done some work advocating liberalized approaches to marijuana and other drugs. Nevertheless, drugs and crime are often the "throwaway" issues of choice for leftist politicians looking for ways to woo some right-leaning voters their way, especially prominent politicians. It's important to note that Hollande has not just rejected a Netherlands-style coffee shop system, nor even just decriminalization for users. Hollande has even opposed changing marijuana possession to a misdemeanor. That is a fairly extremely position, in principle, current policies notwithstanding.

So instead of siding with science and data and common sense, nor even with needed budget relief for his countrymen, France's new president has instead picked the meanest and stupidest marijuana policy he realistically could have. He should be called out for it.

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New French President another puppet for banksters!

"instead of science and data and common sense,

... France's new president has instead picked

the meanest and stupidest marijuana policy"

Of course, the new French President
was another puppet for banksters!

Of course, their mainline frauds
destroy the future for all youth!

If this comment is posted with my name above linking through to my Web site, then there are plenty of links there to follow up on WHY people who advocate a more scientific drug policies, based on experience and evidence, should do that more generally, regarding understanding government itself! Why is FRAUD KING of everything? Why is our entire political system sophisticated slavery?  Why is it that the younger you are, the more you are being lied to, cheated and robbed by the political system you were born into?

Understanding the money system, and especially following the money to the SOURCE is the way to understand WHY we end up with the meanest and stupidest marijuana policy!  That is NOT an accident. That is a deliberate part of the way our real governments were designed to work!

France has always been

France has always been extremely intolerant of drug use. If you've traveled there or through there via train, chances are you've walked past drug sniffing dogs. They don't export their drug hysteria the way the US does, but they're quite prudish about it at home.

French hypocrites are only intolerant of some drug use

They like their alcohol plenty. You can die of an overdose of alcohol, or from diseases caused by excessive chronic use, it's physically addictive, it's so toxic it can cause permanent brain damage to fetuses, and worst of all it makes quite a few people deadly violent in reckless or sadistic ways. The idea that alcohol isn't a drug is ludicrous, but that's still what a lot of people think. The public health community isn't helping, with their nonsensical phrase 'alcohol and drugs', which carries a clear implication that alcohol isn't a drug.

This is what happens when

This is what happens when these people go broke and they are legally given a huge population of people to exploit for marijuana fines and forfeitures.  Europe is in huge financial trouble right now; and it is no coincidence that the Netherlands are banning drug tourism, and becoming harder on marijuana.  These parasite banker governments have too much money in it to make it legal; so now they are putting the pedal to the metal on their police states and prison economies and using marijuana (drugs) as a stepping stone to population enforcement and containment in future war ridden and collapsed western economies.

You don't seem to get the

You don't seem to get the point of the article. They spend more money on marijuana enforcement then they do profiting off fines. They would save money by decriminalizing or legalizing marijuana. The reason the Netherlands is going hard on marijuana has nothing to do with economic crisis. The politicians passing these laws said they wanted to do it a long time ago. Now they can so they are. They are trying to woo conservative voters predominantly in southern provinces. The Netherlands profits from its soft drug policy and that is major criticism of these laws. It creates business it doesn't hurt business. 

The reason I bring this up is too often I hear that the drug war is all about some giant banker conspiracy /population control / uber elite take over. Well it isn't. Sure bankers hold a lot of drug money and if that drug money went away I am sure banks would lose an amount of money that is hard to imagine. But this isn't a conspiracy. Everyone knows this. Its why money laundering is a crime. The real reason the drug war keeps going is because of ignorance/apathy on the part of the public and greed on the part of law enforcement industry. Go after the real meat of this issue instead of rambling on about Alex Jones style conspiracy theories. 

I am not rambling you moron! 

I am not rambling you moron!  If you would do a simple google search you can find evidence galore, you caged hamster.  Here is one such example, http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-06-29/banks-financing-mexico-s-drug-c...

Stop trying to discredit Alex Jones!  This man may be a loudmouth and hype things, but his topics are right on the money.  Regardless of the source, a truthseker always takes things with a grain of salt and tries to connect the dots.

Hey choochie face, here is it

Hey choochie face, here is it all laid out comically, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jmo9a1IVzCk

Sorry but I don't think you

Sorry but I don't think you understand my point. My point was that the bankers have nothing to do with drug laws getting harsher in a country like the Netherlands. The politicians who are anti-coffeeshop have been anti-coffeeshop since before the economic crisis. The Dutch people themselves don't even smoke enough to make the illegal trade so much money. Its the drug tourists that make the coffeeshops the most money. The Dutch government is getting more conservative and this will to appease social conservatives in the Netherlands is the source of the these laws. Not some giant banking conspiracy. I honestly think that's absurd.

What is not absurd is that bankers will be corrupt. Its well known that banks launder drug money. But this doesn't mean there is some elite conspiracy of bankers running the entire world. It also doesn't mean that "bankers" (a loose term as millions of people work in banking in some way shape or form) are soley responsible for the drug war and keeping it the way it is. So are lawyers, so are police and prison unions, so are politicians who use fear to get votes etc etc etc.

Its easy to just blame 1 group of people for the worlds problems. Its a lot harder to figure out how these complex social issues arise and how to effectively solve them.

You are right crazy person,

You are right crazy person, illegal drugs are the result of a large spectrum of society, like government, the criminal justice system, corporations, misinformed citizens, and on and on.  But why are you so afraid of "conspiracy theories?"  Did you watch Deek?  Drugs are one of the biggest businesses on planet earth, you caveman.  And why are you trivializing the word 'bankers?'  Everybody knows that when concerned citizens talk about "bankers" in the context of corrupt government, they usually mean the bankers (i.e investment banks like Goldman Sachs or JP Morgan) who are responsible for creating the derivatives bubble that happened as a result of the end of Glass-Steagall.  When people talk about bankers they mean the people responsible for the boom and bust bubbles in real estate and equities, i.e. the FED.  When economics intellectuals talk about the abuses and excesses of the "bankers" they don't mean the cute 20 something that is your local teller or bank manager.  No you pea brain and intellectual dummy, the bankers are people like Henry Paulson, Robert Rubin, Larry Summers, and all the other Goldman Sachs people who are now in charge of Europe.  http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/analysis-and-features/what-pr...

 

Stop blabbering half truths and do some fkn research!  And try thinking for yourself instead of what the TV tells you to think.

Pot prohibition FITS in the plutocracy!

I recommend that you watch these free videos, collected here:

http://www.marijuanaparty.ca/article.php3?id_article=445

Then, maybe, you will be understand the FACT that the international bankers control all the countries in NATO, and almost all in the UN and are using NATO, and the UN, to consolidate their control over the whole world.

The FUNDING OF POLITICS was the central core of the vicious cycle of the history whereby the international banksters were able to take control of almost all the governments in the world. They are actively working to finish that process, if they can.

The banksters' primary means of control was to gain control over the money supply, through applying the methods of organized crime to take control of governments, so that those government would then give away the power to make money out of nothing, as debts, to private banks. THAT is why the whole world is drowning in debts! 

WE ARE INSIDE A SYSTEM OF DEBT SLAVERY, BACKED BY WARS BASED ON DECEITS.

The war against marijuana, which is 75% of the war against drugs, was merely one more of the WARS BASED ON DECEITS, designed to back up the DEBT SLAVERY system.

If you do enough research into the deeper history of the drug wars, you will discover, again and again, that the international organizations established for the sake of the banksters, to advance their agenda, were a major factor forcing all other countries to join in the war against some drugs.

Sure, most people do NOT understand the monetary system, and do not pay much attention to the funding of politics, that they NEVER participate in. Instead, they have mostly been brainwashed to believe in BS, as the manufactured public opinions, due to propaganda campaigns, for "why" there is a drug war, against some drugs. However, if one traces through the history of those propaganda campaigns, that made so many people believe in huge lies, one will always find, against and again, that the banksters were at the center of that web of deceit and destruction.

Therefore, although everyone MUST participate in the dominating money system, and therefore, everyone MUST adapt, somehow, to rationalize them doing that, the SOURCE was always the same as the SOURCE of the money itself, i.e., the banksters.

Pot prohibition FITS into the plutocracy.

That plutocracy is the REASON WHY CANNABIS WAS CRIMINALIZED.

That is fundamentally the same in France, as it is everywhere else!

I have spent several decades researching the issues that I outlined above. There is no reasonable doubt that the banksters were behind pot prohibition, and that they are the ones that primarily benefit all the way around. They skim the cream off the top of the illegal drug money, by laundering it, as several other comments and linked videos given by others posting here have provided. The banksters' fascist plutocracy system benefits from having any excuses to build a bigger fascist police state. Of course, now, lots of other people take some of the money that is made out of nothing, as debts, by the banksters, and those other people have their own reasons to promote the same old huge lies. However, the original driving force of pot prohibition always came from the plutocracy. The banksters were the keystone to the system of the war against marijuana, because they control the money supplies of all the countries that are fighting that war.

From that perspective, the drug wars are NOT a "failure." The worse it gets, the better the banksters, the pyramidion people, like that, which is really WHY evidence and logical arguments NEVER made any difference to marijuana laws, since those laws were always deliberately based on huge legalized lies, backed by legalized violence, which do NOT care about truth, or justice, but only care about keeping their social pyramid system of runaway fraud and robbery going and growing!

mmm

Yup, it is a common misconception that governments (and bankers) "miss out" on the revenue raised from illegal drug dealing. The reality is quite the opposite.

Basically, they make more money through the laundering of illegal proceeds than they would do by merely moderately taxing an illegal product. Prohibition enforcement inflates the prices of these (essentially cheap) commodities to such a level that 5% of the illegal revenue greatly outweighs 25% of revenue from a legal product.

The irony of this is that if ever the "war on drugs" was won, there would be no revenue at all. Yet this is apparently what the governments (bankers) want.

France and Cannabis

Some people are curious as to why such a logical-seeming country as France would continue drug prohibition. The answer, by and large, is racism against their Arab population. Cannabis prohibition is used as an easy means to control the Arabs, who were used as slave labor in the colony wars against Algeria and promised citizenship in exchange for fighting against their brothers. As a result there was a huge influx of Arabs and a concomitant rise in National Front activity, under the aegis of Jean-Marie Le Pen. This policy works for them tolerably well and one sees  primarily Africans and Arabs in their court system, busted for hashish multiple times and serving lengthy sentences.

I know that true love exist.

I know that true love exist. I find mine through an online chatting. We are in love and plan to marry this summer. If you search for this I can give you the site from where I met my soul mate. Try it and if you don't find your own soul mate you find girls with whom you can chat and laugh very much, to have a nice time.

France is a hypocritical,

France is a hypocritical, Maoist shithole full of pretentious wine-guzzling cry babies.

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