Mayor wants to grow and sell cannabis
A mayor from Le Béarn des Gaves, (Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Nouvelle-Aquitaine) wants to grow cannabis under a scheme which he says will protect the agricultural industry, and farmers who are going bust.
Mayor Jacques Pédéhontaa says that growing cannabis in Le Béarn des Gaves would also help keep tobacco shops and pharmacies open, and he estimates that commercialising cannabis could create up to 30,000 jobs.
The mayor is trying to open up a national debate about it. His suggestion would involve 20 farmers across 10 - 20 hectares. Growing sites would be organic and GMO-free, and strictly surveyed by the local police.
The crop would contain lower levels of THC - the psychoactive component of cannabis - than currently thought to be sold by illegal dealers, Mr Pédéhontaa said.
Under the proposals, the cannabis economy would be controlled by the local Pyrénées-Atlantiques government, with taxes used to fund campaigns against drug use among school-age children.
The money from the scheme would also go to fund old-age care homes, and organic farming.
Authorities envisage the plant will be used for recreational purposes, and sold to pharmacies to give out for therapeutic reasons.
Despite consumption levels of cannabis in France estimated to be among the highest in Europe, laws against the plant and drug are some of the most oppressive, including fines of up to €3,750 and a year in jail theoretically imposed on offenders (although this is rarely enforced).
In April this year (2018), justice minister Nicole Belloubet sought to allow police officers to hand out €300 on-the-spot fines for anyone caught smoking the drug.
Yet, the legal use of cannabis is growing across the country, with two “coffee shops” having recently opened in Ile-de-France selling the non-psychoactive CBD (cannabidiol) in various forms.
Source The Connexion
[The cost to protect this from petty thieves would surely make this unviable? Ed]
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