a trompe-l’oeil assessment of Macron’s five-year term

“I am not in favor of the legalization of cannabis. » In a single sentence, pronounced on March 17 in Aubervilliers (Seine-Saint-Denis) on the occasion of the presentation of his program, the presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron cleared a field on which his opponents, mainly on the left , intended to attract him. Incidentally, he also silenced the voices of his own parliamentary majority, including that of the member for Loiret, Caroline Janvier, thematic rapporteur of a fact-finding mission of the National Assembly and in favor of the legalization framed by the sale of cannabis. Since the beginning of his five-year term, and especially with the arrival of Gérald Darmanin at the Ministry of the Interior, the President of the Republic has striven to make people forget the declarations of candidate Macron in 2017: ” I believe, had he advanced on France Inter on September 4, 2016, that legalization has a form of efficiency. »

From now on, there is no longer any question of legalization, or even decriminalization. As he had declared to the Figaro in April 2021, the fight against drug trafficking must be seen as “the mother of all battles” and the illicit drug trade as the main source of incivility, settling of scores, thefts or assaults observed in the country. Corruption of elected officials or public officials, money laundering and major financial crime, against which the means allocated to justice remain derisory, are often omitted from this inventory.

Author in 2020 of a report entitled “Cannabis: for another police and penal strategy” for the Terra Nova Foundation, Mathieu Zagrodzki, associate researcher at the Center for Sociological Research on Law and Penal Institutions, perceives in this emphasis on the fight against “everyday crime” generated by drug trafficking, “a much more profitable approach for political power, which makes its action visible to the greatest number when the dismantling of structured networks or financial circuits is largely imperceptible in public opinion”.

Zero Tolerance Doctrine

Seizure figures, published at regular intervals and willingly accompanied by declarations of self-satisfaction from the authorities, certainly demonstrate sustained activity by law enforcement, for which the fight against drugs has become a supplier of useful statistical indicators – those which condition awarding bonuses or encouraging advancement. From this point of view, the year 2021 was marked by a significant increase in seizures: 96 tons of cannabis (+ 12% compared to 2020), 23 tons of cocaine (+ 101%) and 1.2 tons of heroin (+24%). Customs alone got their hands on a million doses of ecstasy, an increase of 30% in the volumes observed in 2020. Welcoming the results “historical”, Beauvau had also advanced the figure of 625 dismantling of deal points out of nearly 4,000 identified in the territory. Such elements testify first and foremost to an exponential traffic that no strategy deployed for nearly half a century seems capable of drying up.

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