France still has some of the most stringent anti-cannabis regulations in Europe but things are slowly changing, opening up huge opportunities in the world’s seventh largest economy (France’s GDP growth has recently been overtaken by India and it has dropped from sixth place).
Marijiuana, a divisive issue that normally resurfaces in Europe during election campaigns, has come home to France’s hotly-contested presidential race.
For more than 30 years, marijuana fans and legalization supporters have marched on the first weekend in May in support of the cause. Despite legalization having occurred in Uruguay and the US states of Colorado and Washington, this year is no different.
Hemp is used in hundreds of products, but here's a new one: a hemp wine cellar.
Just days after Colorado became the first US state to allow recreational marijuana use, French researchers have reportedly discovered a way to reduce the negative effects of the marijuana "buzz".
At the behest of Social Affairs and Health Minister Marisol Touraine, France has modified its Public Health Code to allow for the use of marijuana-based medicines, apparently including raw marijuana itself.
France looks to be the latest European country to embrace the harm reduction practice of providing supervised injection sites, according to France 24 TV. Facilities could be open by year's end, said Health Minister Marisol Touraine.
France's new president, François Hollande, has vowed to continue France's expensive addiction to repressive drug policies. Tom Blickman reports for the Transnational Institute:
A French duck farmer has been given a one-month suspended jail sentence and fined 500 euros ($700) for feeding his birds marijuana to rid them of worms.
A 50-year mystery over the 'cursed bread' of Pont-Saint-Esprit, which left residents suffering hallucinations, has been solved after a writer discovered the US had spiked the bread with LSD as part of an experiment.