Was it a surprise for gay stores and gay clubs that poppers recently became forbidden in France? Not so much. Indeed, in 2007, the right-wing government had already tried to get rid of it. The SNEG (national syndicate of gay firms, a structure to defend gay firms which has no equivalent in the world) then battled to repeal the ban.
I guess you are familiar with poppers, a substance mostly used to improve sexual pleasure, which is of widespread use within the gay communities around the world. In France, there was already a ban on the most dangerous types of poppers for a long time; the only one allowed for sale was the one based on nitrate of alkyl, considered less dangerous than the other types (based on butyl or based on pentyl). According to the French Observatory of Drugs and Toxicomania, 5.3% of French adults have used poppers, a figure which has to be compared with the 3.9% who said so in 2005.
The SNEG, along with Men’s, the main distributor of this product in France, and FCC, a poppers maker, is going again to fight to have poppers back. They successful did so in 2007, when poppers was allowed again for sale. They claim that there are not enough studies on the matter, even if they agree that in some cases, a side effect might a temporary loss of visual accuracy. They also say that, because of the man, consumers will try to buy it online, where they could choose the more dangerous types of poppers, and the ban would then prove to be counterproductive. Lastly, they claim that the ban will push people to use more dangerous drugs.
But then, is the ban in action? Not really, it is still possible to buy poppers in many places. Apparently, it’s also easy to buy it online. A judicial battle will have to be conducted by the SNEG so that poppers could be available again.