A recent study shows that alcohol is more dangerous to the brain than cannabis. However, in France, the law on the products that come from it imposes the prohibition.
One of the questions raised by cannabis users in France is the difference in treatment. Cannabis has demonstrated its inability to kill anyone. However, in front of him, alcohol sells legally.
For the brain, alcohol is more dangerous than cannabis
L'ultimo comunicazione as of the University of Colorado Boulder demonstrates that cannabinoids are far less dangerous to the brain than alcohol.
The initial goal of this research was simple. For Kent Hutchinson, professor of behavioral neurology, it was about lifting the veil on the effects of cannabis on the brain. Decades of research yielded conflicting results.
"With alcohol, we knew it's been bad for the brain for decades," said Hutchison. "But for cannabis, we know so little."
As part of this analysis, the brains of over 1000 people were screened. The result is without appeal. The long-term consumption of alcohol causes far more damage to the brain than cannabis.
The researchers looked at the two elements of the brain: the gray matter and the white matter. The gray matter houses the cell bodies of the neurons, and the white matter contains the axons of the nerve cells protected by a myelin sheath.
Thus, with alcohol the gray matter sees its size affected and the integrity of the white matter is affected.
"Even though cannabis could also have negative consequences, it is far from the negative consequences of alcohol," according to Professor Hutchison.
Indeed, this study did not examine the positive effects of cannabis. She especially wanted to put it in comparison with alcohol. In contrast, other studies have focused on the benefits of cannabis on the brain.
Why in the face of science, the French law maintains a prohibition?
The results offered by the University of Colorado Boulder are just the latest. Many studies have demonstrated the true potential of cannabis.
Understanding France's position in this area has plunged into the complex links between politics and industrial interests.
A love story between agricultural France and alcohol
In this understanding, we must note the long tradition of French viticulture. If the most popular and well-known vineyards are located south of the Loire, in the Middle Ages the wine was produced throughout the territory. There was a necessity: it was necessary to provide wine for masses.
If there has been a Moroccan Board of Kifs and Tobaccobuilt on French capital, it had little impact on French agricultural culture.
So they are powerful agricultural lobbies who have a fear of seeing part of their profit turn away to cannabis, if it were legalized. It is indeed it takes place in countries that have licensed cannabis. The first of these lobby groups is the FNSEA (National Federation of Farmers' Unions). His goal is to protect the interests of his profession, and that includes winemakers.
This is the whole agricultural world that is mobilized behind this profession. And the latter is overrepresented in the political world in relation to its share in the population. The last legislative elections in 2017 were a perfect example. There have been Candidati 126 farmers. Diciassette of them have obtained the necessary number of votes to access the Chamber.
Their strength is in their ability to mobilize themselves in elections but also at events, such as the agricultural fair. No man or woman can afford to escape.
It should also be noted that Mitterrand, Chirac and Hollande, three of the last five presidents, were deputies from a constituency close to the agricultural world. Special mention for Jacques Chirac who, after his time as Minister of Agriculture between 1972 and 1974, remained a staunch defender of farmers.
Links between politics and the alcohol industry
If winemakers have maintained their benefits, they are not the only ones. The industrial sector of alcohol in France is very important.
We often forget what the M and H mean in the French group LVMH. M for Moët champagnes, and H for Hennessy spirits.
The boss of LVMH, Bernard Arnault is simply the first fortune of France. More interestingly, these connessioni with the political world. He was one of the witnesses at the wedding of Nicolas Sarkozy with his previous wife, Cecilia. More interestingly, Mr. Arnault's two sons had as their French teacher the current First Lady, Brigitte Macron. The husband of the latter, Emmanuel Macron, had also been supported by Bernard Arnault in the presidential 2017.
These links between the alcohol industry and the political world are not recent, and it may be recalled that the former number two of Ricard, another French giant of alcohol now Pernod Ricard, was Charles Pasqua . In 2015, Pernod Ricard had a turnover of more than 8 billion euros.
This equation is therefore better understood, linking the fear of an erosion of profits, of political lobbying in the national assembly, and of industrialists linking up with the country's leaders. This mixture blocks all debates, and prevents progress, despite even scientific advances.