Drug Offenses in France and the Principle of Appropriateness of Proceedings
"A drug user is an individual who consumes a narcotic substance. The legal authorities often liken the possession of small quantities of narcotics to use. They also equate the cultivation of cannabis to use when the substance is intended for personal consumption.
"Any drug related offence exposes a person to being arrested by the police, a gendarme or a customs officer and will, in principle, be referred to the judicial system. Offences are examined on a case-by-case basis by the public prosecutor who, based on the principle of the 'opportunité des poursuites' (appropriateness of proceedings), may decide to take legal action against the offender, to simply close the case or to propose other measures as an alternative to legal proceedings. This principle enables judicial responses to be adapted to each individual situation by providing a progressive response in accordance with the seriousness of the acts committed. It also explains the differences in penal practices employed by the courts."
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. 12.