The consumption rate is measured by examining survey data asking people if they have used cannabis at least once in the last 12 months.
Looking ahead, Malta, which recently passed a measure to legalize adult use (the first in Europe) only had a 9% consumption rate according to the same survey.
Spain has one of the highest consumption rates is not surprising since it is the headquarters of the the largest cannabis superconference in the world. However, France’s consumption rate tends to raise eyebrows.
Is France legalizing cannabis?
Earlier this month Bill 4746 was introduced to France. The measure would legalize cannabis for adult consumption nationwide in France.
The measure was tabled by France Insoumise MPs and also signed by MPs from five other parliamentary groups.
In addition to legalizing the use of cannabis for recreational purposes, the measure would also create a regulated cannabis industry for adults in France.
Unfortunately, the first political predictions are that the measure will not pass. However, France is not operating in a vacuum and external political and economic pressures could yield a surprising result.
Cannabis is currently legal for limited medical purposes in France as part of a national trial. As of 2020, personal possession of cannabis is decriminalized.
The legalization of cannabis is spreading across Europe
As mentioned above, Europe recently witnessed its first country to legalize cannabis for adult use after Maltese lawmakers passed a legalization measure.
Several other countries are about to legalize cannabis for adult use in Europe, such as Germany, Italy and Luxembourg.
Switzerland and the Netherlands are increasing pilot use programs for adults in certain jurisdictions, and Switzerland is already allowing the legal sale of cannabis products with a low THC content.
All this increases the pressure on French legislators to put themselves on the right side of history. They can no longer keep their heads in the sand and point out the banning policies of other countries.
As more European countries and the international community legalize cannabis for adult use, the momentum for France to do the same increases. It may not happen this year, but it is likely to happen sooner rather than later.