On February 25 2021, in the town of Pontarlier in the Bourgogne-Franche-Comte region of eastern France, a 12-year-old boy grassed off his mum to police for growing cannabis in retaliation for spanking him. He had left his home angry after the spanking and informed passing police officers. Police who called at the home discovered cannabis plants and arrested the mother. Social workers took custody of the boy.
The mother, 31, admitted to hitting the boy during a “heated” argument. This led to police finding 11 cannabis plants, 0.04 oz of cannabis resin plus equipment for growing cannabis. Photos of the plants and equipment were released to the public. Estimates put the amount of cannabis yielded by the plants at 2.64 pounds had police not intervened.
It was for personal use, honest
The mother claimed she was growing cannabis for use by her and her partner and not for sale. She disclosed that she obtained the growing equipment from Spain. She confessed to sometimes employing “a heavy hand” against her son, but this was because he was “too turbulent” and “a troublemaker”. She was taken in to custody and released on bail. Her trial is set for May 27.
The situation with cannabis in France
The laws against cannabis possession in France are among the harshest in Europe. The drug was made illegal in 1970. The law makes no distinction between trafficking and personal use of cannabis, nor is medicinal use permitted. France has the largest number of cannabis users in the continent. Legalisation is a possibility since a survey showed that 50% of the conservative, right wing Republican Party favoured it.