Newsbrief: French Cannabis Growers Create Facts on Ground 9/27/02

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French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy, a law-and-order hardliner, has rejected the decriminalization of cannabis and even the notion of "soft drugs," but despite official attitudes, cannabis cultivation is going through the roof. The Guardian Weekly (UK), citing government figures, reported this week that between 1990 and 2001 the number of pot plants seized in grow-op busts had increased more than 20-fold, and that the number of French marijuana users now numbers more than 7 million.

Personal cultivation is booming, the Guardian reported, with more than 50 shops around the country selling grow equipment to a new set of gardeners whose numbers are in the tens of thousands. A 1990 how-to book on growing, Jean-Pierre Galland's Fumee Clandestine (Secret Smoke) has sold 60,000 copies and a recent Ed Rosenthal tome, Growing in the Cupboard, has sold 20,000, the newspaper reported.

"This is a market niche that is booming; there is no need for advertising," said Kshoo, manager of the Mauvaise Graine (Bad Seed) shop in Montpellier. "We want people to legalize cannabis by growing it themselves, since its still prohibited and the politicians aren't doing anything except to crack down harder," he told the Guardian. "So we've organized ourselves."

And they're getting cocky. Eric Chapel, who runs a grow shop on the outskirts of Paris, told the Guardian some French growers are beginning to export -- to the Netherlands. "There are even some French people who go to Holland to sell their produce," he said. "The Dutch only produce industrial quality cannabis for export. When it comes to top-quality grass, anyone can market the stuff."

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Issue #256, 9/27/02 Editorial: The Tulia Lynchings | Medical Marijuana Supporters Rally in Sacramento | WAMM Files Federal Motion for Return of Marijuana Seized in Dispensary Raid | Calling on Students to Raise Your Voices for Repeal of the HEA Drug Provision | Former British Drug Czar Mo Mowlam Calls for Total Global Legalization, Cites Need to Quit Funding Political Violence | UC San Diego Orders Student Group to Drop Hyperlink to FARC Web Site, Cites Patriot Act | Colombian Leader Meets with Bush, Paramilitary Leader to Surrender Following US Indictment | Newsbrief: Putin to Create Russian DEA | Newsbrief: RAVE Act Sheds Another Cosponsor | Newsbrief: Buzzkill -- Venerable DC Weekly Rave Party Dies from Overdose of Ecstasy Enforcement | Newsbrief: UN Drug Control Chief Warns Canada Not to Legalize Marijuana | Newsbrief: French Cannabis Growers Create Facts on Ground | Newsbrief: German Health Ministry Says Safe Drug Centers Save Lives | Do You Read The Week Online? | Action Alerts: Rave Bill, Medical Marijuana, Higher Education Act Drug Provision | The Reformer's Calendar

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