Subject: France: France launches E10m anti-cannabis campaign
Source: Financial Times
Thursday 03 Feb 2005
Author: John Thornhill
Days after easing restrictions on alcohol advertising, the French
government launched a E10m ($13m, ukp6.9m) information campaign yesterday
to deter cannabis use among young people.
Philippe Douste-Blazy, health minister, said cannabis use was more
prevalent in France than in any other European country - apart from the
Czech Republic and the UK - with 20 per cent of young men and 10 per cent
of young women regularly using the drug. "This is a major public health
problem," he said.
Some other European governments have drawn a distinction between soft and
hard drugs and have relaxed the penalties for cannabis use. But Mr
Douste-Blazy rejected the "myth" that cannabis was a safe drug. He said the
French government would steer a course between excessively permissive and
repressive measures to deter its use.
"The only solution to lower drug use is to sensitise adolescents and young
adults to the problems of health. One must tell them the truth and make
them understand, what has never been achieved before, that regular cannabis
use is dangerous," he said in Le Figaro newspaper.
The government's anti-drugs campaign contrasts with its recent relaxing of
some alcohol advertising.
Last month, Mr Douste-Blazy brokered a compromise deal between France's
wine producers, medical associations and members of parliament to amend the
Evin law, which strictly regulated alcohol advertising.
French wine producers will now be able to promote the virtues of their
region and the quality, smell and taste of their products. But the health
ministry insists the aim is to allow French wine producers to compete more
effectively against foreign imports and not to encourage an increase in
overall alcohol consumption, which has slipped steadily for many years.
As part of its anti-drugs campaign, the health ministry is setting up a
telephone line to answer questions about cannabis use and will open 240
consultation centres around France. It is launching an advertising campaign
later this month on youth television channels and radio stations, which it
claims will be the first of its type in Europe.
The advertising, which health officials say will try to avoid a moralising
tone, will show drug users talking about bad experiences with cannabis. The
adverts will end: "Anxiety, malaise, bad trip: cannabis is a reality." The
ministry is also planning to distribute written information.
Thisi terrible thing that is going to happen here. I have seen that advertising and let me tell youit's totally scary. two kids talking, look rather like crackers or someone which brain has been cooked by too much medicine and alcohol. This advertising could be as well about heroin or crack, that is what I thought about when I saw it "this not about cannabis, this about crack or smack". Very scary.
Think Cosmic, Act Global !
ARICA - Association for Research and Information on CAnnabis