By / April 4, 2022

Will Marseille Become a Pilot City for Cannabis Legalization in France?

Marseille could become a pilot city to experiment with the legalization of cannabis. In any case, this is what elected officials from Marseille, associations, and academics want. They organized, this Saturday, a series of conferences on this theme at the “Legalization Forum”, at Parc Chanot, in Marseille.

If the move went ahead, it would represent a significant change for France–a country that is only just starting to come to grips with CBD legalization. If following this story is of interest to you, along with all the latest in cannabis research and lifestyle, download our free cannabis news app.

Marseille Is a Hotbed of Drug Activity

Drug trafficking is everywhere in the city of Marseille, killing many people every year. In 2021, more than 90 people died in drug-related score-settling, according to the Central Office for the Fight against Organized Crime (OCLCO).

The legalization of cannabis is one way to curb trafficking and the violence that results from it. With the war on drugs having achieved so little, it makes the most sense, too, given that people will continue using whether legal or not. By moving it off the street and into legitimate businesses, the criminal element is at least reduced, if not eliminated entirely.

A Cannabis Culture in Marseille

Sébastien Barles, deputy mayor of Marseille, is leading this legalization project. He hopes that Marseille will be one of the test cities. “We have to find land, freeze fertile land to produce,” explains the elected ecologist. “In our territory, it would be extremely simple to grow them massively.” 

Sébastien Barles is campaigning for production and sales controlled by communities. This would make it possible to check the level of THC, the psychotropic substance of cannabis, and to avoid too high dosages. “It is above all the protection of consumers at the health level with the reduction of risks”, specifies Hugo Besné-Prolon, public relations manager at Norml France, a pro-legalization association.

Job creation

This new legal economy would create hundreds of jobs in Marseille, according to Farid Ghehiouèche of the Cannabis sans frontières collective. “The coal miners, the choufs, will mainly be salespeople, but we will also have a whole bunch of people who can train for jobs in this industry”, explains the activist. The associations are convinced that these reconversions are of interest to traffickers. 

Sébastien Barles remains cautious all the same. The elected official expects resistance from Marseille dealers if the cannabis legalization project ever succeeds.


(Featured image by Elisa Schmidt via Unsplash)

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