The French Education Minister Vincent Peillon, told the “Tous Politique” programme on “France Inter Radio” this Sunday (15-10-12), that legalizing cannabis was a “serious question” that warranted debate.
“It’s a perfectly serious question to ask….We can combat [drug trafficking] by repressive means, I am totally for that….but at the same time, I see that the results suggest that it’s not very effective …So it begs that question and I would like to take it forward in all serenity.”
“I am sometimes amazed by how France is a bit behind on this subject, which for me is important.”
When he was asked whether he agreed with with former interior minister Daniel Vaillant that a debate should be held on the matter, he replied “I thought he was right at the time, and I still do.”
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The French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault (Socialist party), was forced to reply on Monday. Several right wing ministers were shocked, including Valérie Pécresse, a former higher education minister (no pun intended), tweeted: “It’s unheard of!”
An education minister preaching the legalisation of cannabis. What kind of impact will that have on educational attainment?” Over in France’s right-wing opposition, Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault’s office insisted government policy had not changed.
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“The prime minister and Mr Peillon spoke on the telephone this morning, there will be no decriminalization of cannabis,” Mr Ayrault’s office said.
This Monday morning (16-10-12), Peillon said he just outted his personal thoughts and they aren’t meant to impact on his “total and complete solidarity with the government”.