Illustration of cannabis resin seized by a police officer. Here in Rennes, in June 2020. - C. Allain / 20 Minutes

The first plums could fall today. This Tuesday, four French cities see the lump sum fine of 200 euros applicable for people convicted of drug use. Wanted by the government, the measure comes into force today in Rennes (Ille-et-Vilaine), Reims (Marne), Créteil and Boissy-Saint-Léger (Val-de-Marne). This new procedure, which applies to all drugs but targets cannabis users first, must be extended to Lille and Marseille in mid-July before gradually affecting all of mainland France.

Promise of Emmanuel Macron's campaign, the fixed fine - to which only adults will be subject - is added to the existing legislative arsenal. Presented as one of the tools of the drug plan launched by the Minister of the Interior Christophe Castaner in September 2019, it more specifically intends to do away with the “de facto decriminalization” of cannabis, and bring “a faster, more criminal response firm and more systematic ”.

A system coordinated in Rennes

The fine will be 200 euros and the amount may be reduced (150 euros) or increased (450 euros) depending on the payment period. Registration in the criminal record is also provided for in this new law enforcement system which will be coordinated by the national center for the automated processing of traffic offenses, precisely based in Rennes, which will be responsible for sending and collecting fines.

Indeed, a law of 1970 theoretically provides for punishing the illicit use of narcotic drugs up to a year in prison and a fine of 3,750 euros, but imprisonment for use remains exceptional, the magistrates favoring "alternative measures to prosecution" as reminders of the law.

"Focus on fighting trafficking"

"The flat-rate fine will allow law enforcement and magistrates to focus on the fight against trafficking, rather than devote their time to time-consuming procedures linked to the suppression of the consumption of narcotic drugs", congratulated in a press release the deputy Eric Poulliat (LREM), co-rapporteur of the fact-finding mission which had proposed the measure in January 2018. The public prosecutor of Rennes Philippe Astruc intended "to tackle the request while the Drug Control has so far mainly focused on supply. ”

The leading European consumer of cannabis, France had five million smokers of this substance in 2017, including 700,000 daily users, a number that has been increasing steadily for years.


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