Marijuana Policy Project
Curved Papers

Charlie Hebdo's Cannabis Connection

French weekly Charlie Hebdo doesn't just poke fun at Muslims. In 2012, they ran a cover featuring cartoon character Obelix wearing a hugh pot leaf with French Pres. François Hollande tied up and dangling from a tree. The cover line reads, "Legalize the magic potion." The other character on the cover is Asterix.

In an article at the time (Oct. 2012), the French blog Melty Buzz explained the context of the cover: "After the controversy caused by Vincent Peillon re-opening the debate on the decriminalization of cannabis, Charlie Hebdo manages to put a little water on the fire."

Charlie Hebdo, Oct. 17, 2012, Issue 1061.

Peillon is a France's Minister of Education. Just prior to the Charlie Hebdo cover, Peillon came out in favor of decriminalizing marijuana and called for a "new debate on this issue."

On Wednesday, terrorists stormed the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo, slaying 10 staff members, including editor Stéphane Charbonnier and five cartoonists. Two police officers were also killed in the attack. The weekly publication regularly satirizes Muhammad and other Muslim customs.

Charlie Hebdo (for Weekly Charlie, perhaps named after former French president Charles de Gaulle) was founded in 1969. Its motto is, "Magazine Irresponsable."


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Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of, former editor of High Times and Freedom Leaf and co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness.