Law Enforcement Policies for Narcotics Use Offenses in France
"Since the adoption of law 2011-1862 of 13 December 2011 44, the French Code of Penal Procedure has enabled public prosecutors to institute simplified proceedings for narcotics use offences. However, the public prosecutor must ensure that the alleged offences for which an accused is being held in custody are simple and have been established by police investigation, and that, given the minor nature of the offences, it does not seem necessary to order a sentence of imprisonment or a fine of up to €3,750 (fine stipulated in article L.3421-1 of the French Public Health Code). In the event of a simplified procedure, the arrested person may be ordered to pay a fine of up to €1,875 in compliance with article 495-1 of the French Code of Penal Procedure. If the judge presiding over the case deems that imprisonment should be ordered, the judge refers the case to the public prosecutor.
"In addition to applicable punishments, lawmakers also came to a decision on the new policy for carrying out sentences applicable to cours d'appel (courts of appeal) and tribunaux de grande instance (high courts). Law 2012-409 of 27 March 2012 45 thereby establishes a new strategic framework for law enforcement jurisdictions. This law has three main objectives:
"• To ensure swiftness in executing the sentences that are handed down, particularly for prison sentences;
"• To reinforce efforts to prevent recidivism;
"• To improve how delinquent minors are handled."
l'Observatoire francais des drogues et des toxicomanies (OFDT), "2012 National Report (2011 data) to the EMCDDA by the Reitox National Focal Point: France: New Development, Trends and in-depth information on selected issues (Saint-Denis, France: OFDT, 2012), p. 20.