The role of CBD and Cannabis in the French Elections

What the candidates say about Cannabis in the French Elections

It is impossible to talk about the 2022 French elections without a debate on Cannabis and CBD products: according to one of the latest IFOP polls, 57% of French people would like to see the candidates take a stance on the possible legalization of Cannabis. But with twelve different programs, what should we remember? Are there any trends? We have prepared a complete account on the issue!

The main arguments around Cannabis in the French Elections

Legalization of Cannabis: who’s for, who’s against?

Before we get into any analysis, the first thing you probably want to know is where each candidate stands on the issue of cannabis legalization.

  • Valérie Pécresse (LR), Eric Zemmour (Reconquête), Nicolas Dupont-Aignan (DLF), Emmanuel Macron (LREM) as well as Marine Le Pen (RN) have declared themselves to be against legalization, a tendency which is therefore strongly marked on the right of the political spectrum 

  • Yannick Jadot (EELV), Jean-Luc Mélenchon (LFI), Jean-Lassalle (Résistons!) and Nathalie Arthaud (LO) have spoken out in favor of such a measure. 

However, there are some nuances in some of the speeches. 

  • In an interview with Konbini, Fabien Roussel (PCF) said he was in favor of decriminalization. At the same time, he considers that "the diversity of opinions" on this issue will require "a democratic debate”. 

  • Anne Hidalgo (PS) indicates that the current situation cannot continue: "I am not for the status quo", and proposes the organization of a "consensus conference" at the national level. 


Repression deemed ineffective

Whether for or against, many candidates point to the ineffectiveness of the current law enforcement policy.

In the interview conducted by Konbini, Nathalie Arthaud, Fabien Roussel, and Philippe Poutou believe that repression simply does not work. Maintaining the ban would therefore be unrealistic. 

Some even compare Cannabis to alcohol. Nathalie Arthaud reminds us that "the two drugs that do the most damage in France are tobacco and alcohol, that is to say, two drugs that are completely legalized", while Jean-Luc Mélenchon evokes the fact that "a lot of cannabis does not do any good, it is exactly like alcohol, but alcohol, precisely, how has it been treated? We tried prohibition in some countries, it does not give anything at all. Prohibition equals trafficking, that's it, it's as simple as that."

Others call, on the contrary, for intensified repression. For Eric Zemmour, "we have never really tried repression". He therefore calls for more means for the forces of order. Nicolas Dupont-Aignan also asks for more measures, while Marine Le Pen insists on maintaining a repressive policy. 

Transfer of traffic and consumption

To justify their refusal to legalize cannabis, some candidates rely on the risk of a shift in consumption and trafficking to higher THC levels or harder drugs. 

Thus, Valérie Pécresse thinks that in case of legalization, "the dealers would continue their traffic by offering products with higher THC." A position shared by Fabien Roussel, yet in favor of decriminalization: "there will always be cannabis trafficking with a high THC content."

Nicolas Dupont-Aignan goes so far as to declare that a legalization "would necessarily increase consumption and defer the ban on other harder drugs."

Arguments that did not convince Jean-Luc Mélenchon: "It's not true that we go from one drug to another (...) We must not take people for more unreasonable than they are." Yannick Jadot even thinks that legalization would make it possible to leave the "mafias of dealing". 

"It's not true that we go from one drug to another (...) We must not take people for more unreasonable than they are." - Jean-luc mélenchon

Effects of Cannabis on Health

The question of the effects of Cannabis on health is also at the center of many arguments. 

Valérie Pécresse considers that "cannabis is toxic for health", a position she shares with Nicolas Dupont-Aignan. Eric Zemmour goes further by stating that "it is very bad for the memory, it is very bad for the IQ, it sometimes creates depressive states".

Although in favor of legalization, Nathalie Arthaud does not believe that Cannabis is beneficial to health. She reminds however that tobacco and alcohol can also be considered as drugs. 

Only Jean-Luc Mélenchon recalls that "cannabis is also a means of care in a number of cases."

Without being categorical about the dangerousness of cannabis, some candidates point to the addictive potential of the plant and therefore the need to prevent and regulate its use. Thus, Jean Lassalle wishes that a "great part of the receipts" of the legalization are devoted "to the fight against the addiction". He is joined by Yannick Jadot, who intends to use the product of the taxes perceived on the sales to finance policies of health and prevention.

Cannabis: a lot of opinions, a lot of ignorance

But during our research, we were most struck by the ignorance of the majority of candidates about Cannabis and CBD

Lack of experience and knowledge of candidates

We were particularly intrigued by the Konbini video mentioned above. Indeed, the relevance of the questions asked allowed us to establish a correlation which is worth the detour: it is the candidates who have never touched cannabis who militate for its prohibition

With the exception of Nathalie Arthaud and Philippe Poutou, all the candidates who have declared that they have never used cannabis (Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, Valérie Pécresse and Eric Zemmour) are opposed to legalization. 

And with the exception of Anne Hidalgo, who is neither for nor against, all the candidates who have already used cannabis (Fabien Roussel, Yannick Jadot, Jean Lassalle, and "probably" for Jean-Luc Mélenchon) are in favor of legalization. Rather interesting, don't you think? 

The interviews conducted by Konbini also reveal the candidates' overall lack of knowledge about legal cannabis, and more specifically, CBD-based products

Of all the candidates interviewed, only Fabien Roussel and Yannick Jadot seemed to understand the difference between CBD and THC, the latter adding that it is "aberrant to see this government wanting to stop the sale of CBD by obsession with the fight against cannabis". 

After having obtained more explanations during the interview and thus understood what CBD was, Eric Zemmour, Nathalie Arthaud and Valérie Pécresse have however indicated that the molecule had quite its place on the French market. 

For his part, Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, who has however very strong opinions on THC, does not want to learn more: "I know there is a difference but it does not interest me". 


Many shortcomings regarding the effects of CBD and Cannabis

The way in which the health effects argument is used also reveals some ignorance on the part of the candidates about the benefits of CBD and Cannabis in general. 

The studies conducted in recent years on CBD and which are becoming more and more numerous show that Cannabis can also have very positive effects on health and well-being. They also point out that CBD helps to moderate the negative effects of THC. 

And if it is advisable to treat this molecule with great care, THC is not to be totally banned either, because it can also produce very positive effects on several afflictions when combined with CBD.

A potential that should not be ignored as the IFOP study reveals that 70% of French people would be in favor of legalizing the use of cannabis for therapeutic purposes. 

Especially since the argument of health risks quickly loses its superbness when one inquires about the reasons behind the ban, which had nothing to do with a public health issue.

In any case, we hope that this article will have helped you to see more clearly the place of Cannabis in the next elections, maybe it will even have contributed to help you to make your choice for Sunday... to learn more about cannabis and CBD, do not hesitate to visit the Cakespace blog, and to come by our instagram page!

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