NOMINATION FOR THE 2021 NOBEL PEACE PRIZE
THE GRAND BOUQUET CANNABIQUE OF HUMAN AND CITIZENS RIGHTS DEFENDERS
Jean-Pierre Galland (1951) France, writer, co-founder and first president of Circ
Passionate about writing and cannabis, I decided after the birth of my son in 1988 to go from practice to theory. Never punished for having sold it on a small scale to friends, I will be punished several times for having defended the virtues of this ancient plant both for the mind and on the body and for having demonstrated the multiple perverse effects of prohibition.
So, in 1990, I suggested to a publisher that I write an illustrated encyclopedia (so ambitious!) on cannabis. He accepted my proposal without giving me the means to carry it out. What did it matter! I embarked on the adventure browsing all the books available on the subject at the National Library, meeting fascinating people who would teach me a lot and compiling many articles in the press, various facts as well as position papers. I end this ordeal with the conviction that the prohibition of cannabis is a historic mistake which, over the years, has ruined the lives of millions of people.
Fumée Clandestine appeared in 1991 and quickly became popular. With some friends we met during its drafting we came up with the idea of creating an association essentially made up of users, who are more competent experts than politicians and technocrats.
Thus was born the Collective for Information and Research on Cannabis (CIRC), the objective of which is to get cannabis out of prison and give its amateurs their dignity back. We fought at our own risk and peril by questioning and provoking those responsible for the disaster engendered by prohibition, politicians and experts too often deaf to our arguments and to encourage cannabinophiles to campaign with us, in spite of the repression. We also, in the name of risk reduction, called on cannabis enthusiasts to cultivate their gardens and share the fruits of their experiences and their harvests.
While countries on all continents are decriminalizing or legalizing cannabis, and while the United Nations has recently recognized its therapeutic virtues, France in 2020 keeps to its backward views: simple use is still an offense punishable by one year in prison and the law – it celebrates its fiftieth anniversary this year – still makes it possible to silence those who dispute its’ merits.
With fallacious arguments (cannabis is still considered the scourge of youth) the government (following a bogus parliamentary commission) has instituted a “tort fine” of two hundred euros for holders of small quantities … And worse still, the Minister of the Interior recently encouraged citizens to report to their neighborhood police station the places where people deal.
The 1970 law must be repealed and the production, distribution and use of the cannabis plant with multiple benefits must be legalized, a legalization that will not happen without consumers.
“It is really happiness that hashish provides” wrote Joseph Moreau of Tours in the nineteenth century in his famous work: “Du hashisch et de l’aliénation mentale”. I remember it like it was yesterday, yet it was a long time ago (I was eighteen, I am seventy) when I first encountered cannabis. It was in Lyon on the slopes of the Croix-rousse in the company of a friend who spent his evening throwing up while slumped on the sofa, I was traveling in space. I remember that phantasmagorical and colorful images, thick forests, winding roads and convoluted mosques paraded under my closed lids. I, who lived in deep France, had never traveled and never crossed the least mosque.
It was a time when we spent our evenings drinking, but believe it or not, after that first experience, I gave up alcohol forever. Already passionate about writing, cannabis opened the doors of my perception and stimulated my imagination.
Cannabis has never disappointed me, even though I did take a few good slaps. He is a faithful companion, the friend who has accompanied me on unforgettable psychedelic experiences. It was cannabis that taught me to better control my body and the sensuality of the body of the other.
Every year, on a window sill, then on a balcony or on a terrace, even under an artificial sun and today in my garden, from May to October, every day, I visit my plants. I cajole them, prune them if necessary and encourage them to push. Cannabis punctuates my life from season to season and helps me to live quite simply.