Free weed! France to test free medical cannabis on 3,000 patients


France has announced that it will conduct its long-awaited medical marijuana trial, offering it free to 3,000 participating patients in 2021.

Although it is far from raining weed as it is in Israel, France has finally announced March 2021 as the date on which it will begin its medical marijuana trial which has been unanimously supported by its senate in 2019.

Pharmaceutical grade cannabis products should be prescribed for 3,000 patients in extreme cases where other alternatives to alleviate suffering are insufficient. The trial is limited to two years, with the first prescription dates being postponed to March 2021 due to the coronavirus.

Photo credit: Terre Di

The program will last two years from the first prescription date, and is the first of its kind to take place since France banned medical cannabis in 1953.

The government has been heavily criticized for its outdated policy in this area, which until 2018 imposed fines such as haute costly € 3,750 (AU $ 6,000), as well as one-year prison sentences for possession of cannabis.

The French Ministry of Health and Solidarity will be in charge of the project, which the minister and the director general of the French Health Association (ANSM) will decide on the details of the trial.

These details will include the list of medical conditions eligible for the trial, the form in which the cannabis will be consumed, and the procedures for importing and controlling the drug.

The ANSM now publicly supports cannabis as a medicine to reduce pain, control epilepsy, and in cases of palliative care and cancer. The ANSM says it does not recommend smoking, so France is unlikely to send pre-rolled joints to participants like the United States still does.

ScoMo is unlikely to follow in France’s footsteps – after all this sounds a lot more like a New Zealand story, as Jacinda Ardern has fully presented herself as the queen of cannabis during this debate:


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