This announcement should create waves throughout Europe and the rest of the world: France, one of the most repressive countries in Europe in regard to cannabis, has just legalized the medicinal use of the substance! We will however have to wait for the sanctioned publication of this decree before officially celebrating this historical event.
Today, Friday 7th of June 2013, Decree n° 2013-473 of June 5th 2013 was published, modifying the dispositions of article R. 5132-86 of the Public Health Code related to the prohibition of operations linked to cannabis and its derivatives. Basically, article R. 5132-86 prohibited all non-industrial use of the cannabis plant. Exemptions to this needed to be granted by the General Director of the National Security Agency for Medicines and Health Products, which vary rarely happened.
The implementation of the law is left as the responsibility of the Minister of Social Affairs and Health Marisol Touraine, who will be ratifying the decree in the coming weeks. It is therefore not yet possible to determine the exact consequences of this decree for French patients who could enjoy the benefits of therapeutic cannabis.
Vigilance is however required, due to the mention of necessary authorisation before bringing a (cannabis) product onto the market so as not to be in violation of the law. This clause suggests that it will be difficult for organizations and patients themselves to produce their own medicinal cannabis despite the low costs related to its cultivation and processing.
It is above all a huge step forward for French patients already using cannabis to relieve the symptoms linked to their illnesses: to witness their drug of choice finally become legal in the eyes of the government.
Sensi Seeds has supported the development of medical marijuana across the world for many years and this news can be considered a victory for all activists who support a legislative change concerning cannabis.
A more detailed article will follow when the execution of the decree is officially published, to better understand and explore the impact of its implementation.
The cannabis plant, removed from the official pharmacopeia in 1953, is making its official comeback, 60 years later.