Admittedly, I am not as up-to-date on French politics as some. But I know enough to be aware that the election that occurred yesterday was a very big deal. The world, Europe included, is in a very tense situation when it comes to politics. So much turmoil is going on in the world today that every country needs strong leaders. Countries that do not have strong leaders run the risk of being thrown into chaos.
France’s first round of their presidential election was yesterday, and while some votes are still being tallied, it appears that the results will lead to a head-to-head runoff vote between Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen. An article leading up to the election summarized each candidate’s views on marijuana. Excerpts from the article can be found below, per Independent:
Centrist Emmanuel Macron, currently leading polls for the first round of voting on 23 April, and right-wing candidate Francois Fillon, have both said police should issue warnings and on-the-spot fines for cannabis use.
Left-wing candidates Jean-Luc Melenchon and Benoit Hamon have said the drug should be legalised, while only Marine Le Pen, of the far-right Front National, is against any change to the law.
“It’s a completely crazy idea. Instead we must use every force available to us to fight against drugs and drug dealers,” Ms Le Pen’s presidential campaign director David Rachline told radio station France 2 in October.
It would be nice to see Emmanuel Macron come out in support of full legalization, but decriminalization is a step in the right direction. It’s significantly better than Marine Le Pen’s stance of full prohibition. Apparently she thinks that there’s still a chance that France can arrest their way out of things, and that somehow it will lead to French citizens giving up marijuana consumption altogether. I won’t hold me breath. The head-to-head vote will occur on May 7th. If Macron wins, it will be yet another world leader that supports marijuana reform. I’m hopeful that if/when France decriminalizes marijuana that it will be such a success that it will encourage the country to move for full legalization.