Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FOCUS

Rohingya crisis: monks with an ultranationalist agenda

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Rogues aplenty at UN General Assembly

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Mexico City’s earthquake, Catalonia’s independence struggle and Senegal’s charcoal-making women

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

The French protest again and some Viking warriors were women

Read more

THE DEBATE

Iran's rebuttal: Tehran answers Trump and Netanyahu

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Kenya's supreme court blames electoral board for botched election

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

'The door is open for dialogue with Madrid,' says Carles Puigdemont

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Kurdish independence referendum: What impact on the region?

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Iraqi Kurdistan FM: 'We are determined to go ahead' with independence vote

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)