Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Air Algerie investigation continues

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Dozens of youths trampled to death on Conakry beach

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola death toll tops 700

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

UNRWA official breaks down over Gaza deaths

Read more

DEBATE

Argentina Defaults - Kirchner Cries Foul Over 'Vulture Funds' (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Argentina Defaults - Kirchner Cries Foul Over 'Vulture Funds'

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Renault's women drivers ad deemed sexist

Read more

FOCUS

Constitution prohibits Aung San Suu Kyi to run for president

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

War and Markets, with Steen Jakobsen, Chief Economist at Saxo Bank

Read more

  • Kerry, Ban announce 72-hour humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza

    Read more

  • Interactive: France’s new plan to counter jihadism in Africa

    Read more

  • French Jews speak of growing fear in Paris amid Gaza conflict

    Read more

  • Argentinian markets plummet following default

    Read more

  • Video: Inside Hamas ‘terror’ tunnels in Gaza

    Read more

  • France remembers murdered socialist hero Jean Jaurès

    Read more

  • Sierra Leone declares state of emergency over spread of Ebola

    Read more

  • Investigators reach MH17 site amid 24-hour ceasefire

    Read more

  • Air France ground workers to strike on August 2

    Read more

  • Scores feared dead in India landslide

    Read more

  • Russia ordered to pay further €1.9 billion to Yukos shareholders

    Read more

  • Iraq's Christians: Nowhere to Run?

    Read more

  • Russia defiant as US, EU unveil 'phase three' sanctions

    Read more

  • US House votes to sue Obama for over-reaching his powers

    Read more

France

France restates anti-cannabis stance after criticism

Latest update : 2012-10-16

France's Socialist government reiterated its opposition to decriminalising marijuana Monday after Education Minister Vincent Peillon (pictured) said Sunday that legalisation deserved debate, sparking criticism from the right-wing opposition.

France's Socialist government was forced to reassert its opposition to legalising cannabis on Monday after the education minister drew howls of outrage by calling for a debate on the issue.

Education Minister Vincent Peillon raised the issue on Sunday, saying legalising cannabis was a "serious question" that warranted debate.

After the remarks were pounced on by France's right-wing opposition, Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault's office insisted government policy had not changed.

"The prime minister and Mr. Peillon spoke on the telephone this morning, there will be no decriminalisation of cannabis," Ayrault's office said.

In a broadcast organised by France Inter radio, Le Monde and AFP, Peillon had said: "This question is worth asking, and I am amazed sometimes by how France is a bit behind on this subject, which for me is important."

After coming under fire for the remarks, Peillon issued a statement saying his comments reflected his "personal opinion" and were in no way "contrary to the complete and total solidarity" within the government.

Former prime minister Francois Fillon of the right-wing UMP called Peillon's remarks "irresponsible and dangerous", saying: "The ban on consuming cannabis in France remains more than ever necessary to protect our children."

UMP party leader Jean-Francois Cope called on President Francois Hollande to react to the minister's statements.

"The legalisation of so-called soft drugs is simply unacceptable," Cope said on France Info radio, citing "dozens and dozens of researchers around the world" who have pointed to the dangerous effects of smoking cannabis.

The controversy highlighted what critics say is increasing confusion and disorganisation within the government formed after Hollande won the presidency in May, which saw the Socialists take power for the first time in a decade.

(AFP)

Date created : 2012-10-16

  • FRANCE

    Swiss-Moroccan drug ring snares Paris bourgeoisie

    Read more

COMMENT(S)