Speaking on France Inter on Sunday morning, Peillon said: “We can try to fight against [the issue of cannabis] by clamping down on usage, and I am absolutely for that, but at the same time I see the results aren’t very effective.
“The question [of legalization] is on the table, and a hope we can move forward with it calmly.”
Peillon also spoke of former socialist minister, Daniel Vaillant’s attempt to relaunch debate on the subject at the beginning of October, with his main aim to legalize medical cannabis.
“I thought he was right then, and I do so now,” added Peillon. “I am often stunned at how outdated France is on this issue.”
But this morning, Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault’s office released a statement contradicting Peillon’s view.
“The Prime Minister and Mr Peillon spoke this morning on the telephone, and there will be no legalization of cannabis.”
Peillon was also criticized by the UMP after the interview, with the deputy Lionnel Luca tweeting: “unbelievable and scandalous that the Minister of Education defends the legalization of cannabis.”