Press Release from Les Echos Du Chanvre
A shipment of 100% hemp clothing from Crucial USA, worth $5000, was seized by French customs in May. The clothes were ordered by La Maison du Chanvre in Lyon, a non-profit organization, which publishes the French hemp journal Les ?chos du Chanvre.
Although Crucial had already shipped clothes to France many times before, and without any trouble, this time a zealous custom officer at Roissy airport in Paris “felt obliged” to report to the district attorney that he saw the pot leaf on the clothes. The reason: article L630 of the French law.
In France, freedom of expression is restricted by article L630 of the Public Health Code (part of the law dated Dec. 31, 1970, the cornerstone of the government’s policy on drugs) which condemns the “presentation in a favorable manner of narcotics”. This means that anything seen as instigating drug use is banned – such as the cannabis hemp leaf. And according to the context, government officers decide whether the presentation is incitement or not.
This is not the first time that hemp products face this silly law. Two years ago the British company The Body Shop had some trouble because of its new range of hemp cosmetics, featuring the hemp leaf on the packaging. But today, The Body Shop continues to display and sell these products.
The law in France is a nonsense when one knows that France is the major hemp producer in Europe. And there are many hemp museums and companies using the cannabis hemp leaf as a symbol.