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DRUGS

Pot smoker turns to police to break addiction

There are many different ways to try to give up a bad habit, but one French pot smoker was so desperate to give up his cannabis addiction he risked ending up behind bars by taking the drastic step of calling in the long arm of the law.

Pot smoker turns to police to break addiction
Frenchman turns to police in bid to give up pot smoking. Photo: Matthew Kenwrick

A 47-year-old cannabis addict from Rennes turned himself in to local police this week, handing over 1.6kg of hash and eight marijuana plants, in a drastic move to help him quit his 12-year habit.

According to local paper Ouest-France, the single man called up his local police station on Monday and told officers that he had been smoking joints for the last 12 years and wanted to quit.

Opening himself up to the risk of spending a spell behind bars, the pot addict invited the police to come to his house and confiscate all of his cannabis. Officers searched the property and seized 1.6kg of weed.

But the addict didn't stop there. He then drove the officers out to a plot of land near the gulf of Saint-Jacques-de-la-Landes where he was cultivating his own marijuana allotment. In all, eight plants were pulled up by police. 

“He wanted to completely stop, it was causing him a lot of stress but he didn’t know how to do it. He had a lot of weed at his house and it was within easy reach, which made it hard to quit,” a policeman told the newspaper.

And the addict’s high-risk measure to give up pot appears to have paid off in one sense, with authorities agreeing not to charge him with any drug offences as a sign of goodwill for turning himself in.

“He won’t go to court, instead he will need to prove to the prosecutor that he has undergone therapy to help him quit smoking,” a policeman told Ouest France.

by Naomi Firsht

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DRUGS

French minister calls for Eurovision winner to be disqualified if singer fails drug test

France's Europe minister on Monday called for "total transparency" over speculation that one of Italy's victorious Eurovision contestants used cocaine during the song contest, saying it should be grounds for disqualification if confirmed.

French minister calls for Eurovision winner to be disqualified if singer fails drug test
France's entry, Barbara Pravi, said she didn't care whether Måneskin had used drugs or not. Photo: Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP

Damiano David, the outlandish vocalist for Italian rockers Måneskin, has agreed to take a drug test after video footage appeared to show him snorting something from a table backstage during Saturday’s contest.

“I think there needs to be no doubt here, and total transparency,” Europe Minister Clement Beaune, who attended the show in Rotterdam, told RMC radio. “If there is a problem, there are penalties… Provisions are made for sanctioning measures, including potential disqualification in case of problems.” 

French hopes had been riding high on singer Barbara Pravi, who was a bookmakers’ favourite to end France’s 44-year Eurovision drought with her
moody ballad “Voila.”

But she was edged out at the last minute by a surge in public votes for Måneskin, with a final tally of 524 to Pravi’s 499.

“I don’t want to be a sore loser,” Beaune said, but “in terms of image, we can’t let people think that such competitions can result in such behaviour.”

The president of France’s public broadcasting group, however, said Monday that France would not contest its second-place finish, no matter the speculation over David’s backstage antics.

“France has absolutely no intention to lodge an appeal,” France Televisions chief Delphine Ernotte told the Parisien newspaper. “The vote was quite clearly in Italy’s favour — it didn’t steal its
victory and that’s what matters,” she said.

Pravi herself said she was not interested in the speculation.

“What’s true is that they were chosen by both the public and the jury. Afterwards, if they use drugs or they put their underwear on backwards or whatever… it’s not my problem,” she told France 2 television on Sunday.

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