Rabat – Head of government Abdelilah Benkirane said on Tuesday that his government will not authorize the cultivation of cannabis in the country, saying that those who claim otherwise are selling ‘illusions’ to the small growers in the north of the kingdom.
Benkirane, who was speaking at the monthly session of oral questions in the House of Representatives, said that the policy of the state has not changed in this regard, adding that there is no evidence that all the cannabis can be used for pharmaceutical and medical purposes.
He said that legalizing the cultivation of cannabis in Morocco is not a solution, adding that the authorities have made huge efforts in a bid to boost development and provide alternative choices to citizens living in areas where cannabis is being grown.
Benkirane said that the residents of these areas are Moroccans as well and are entitled to the protection and support of the state. Benkirane also urged them not to listen to those who seek political leverage at the expense of their hopes and demands.
Benkirane’s remarks come as opposition groups claim that legalizing the cultivation of cannabis will compensate for the lack of government investment in northern Morocco.
The Istiqlal Party, one of Morocco’s opposition political parties, proposed a draft law to decriminalize and regulate the cultivation of cannabis. The party also called for the adoption of a bill granting amnesty to small cannabis growers in the north of the kingdom.
Istiqlal Party is not the only Moroccan political party that is pushing for cannabis to be legalized in the north of the country. The opposing Party of Authenticity and Modernity (PAM) also called for the legalization of cannabis cultivation.
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