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France Just Ended Prison Terms For Marijuana Use

By the end of the year, French president Emmanuel Macron wants to end prison terms for cannabis use. Part of Macron’s campaign promises included marijuana reform. During their campaigns, four out of the five presidential candidates in France supported some type of marijuana reform. Only far-right candidate Marine Le Pen was against it.

Right now, offenders face up to a year in jail and a fine of 3,750 euros, or $4,200.

“Last year, 180,000 people were found to be in violation of drug laws. On average these cases take up six hours of police time and the same amount for the presiding magistrate,” government spokesman Christophe Castaner said, according to The Local. “Is the system effective?” No. 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.”

This doesn’t mean marijuana will be decriminalized, but it will help simplify judicial procedures, something even the cops are pleased about. “It’s a good idea that takes reality into account,” said Patrice Ribeiro, of the police officers union. “Most policemen who arrest a user tell him to throw the joint away and then let them move on.”

Macron’s proposals involve handing out warnings and fines of up to 100 euros, instead of locking people up for marijuana use—something 17 million French citizens admit to having tried once, and 700,000 do daily, according to The French Observatory for Drug Use and Addiction.

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