By Henry Samuel

A government-tasked commission has advised France to legalise cannabis to “take back control” of the black market, calling prohibition an abject “failure”.

In potentially explosive conclusions, two experts for the economic analysis council, or CAE, an influential advisory body to the prime minister, urged the government to end a blanket ban of the recreational drug.

In their report released on Thursday entitled “Cannabis: how to take back control”, the two CEA-mandated economists wrote: “The system of prohibition promised by France for the past 50 years has been a failure.”

State-controlled cannabis stores would be the best way to control drug trafficking and “restrict access” to younger would-be users, they argued.

By their calculations, cannabis could bring up to €2.8 billion (£2.5bn) per year into state coffers and create up to 57,000 jobs.