by Larbi Arbaoui
by Larbi Arbaoui
Morocco World News
Taroudant- Nov 23, 2012
The talk about cannabis was until recently one of the major taboos to be tackled in public discussion in Morocco; however, people started to discuss openly about this crops that are said to be the sole source of income for thousands of Moroccan families.
Voices have emerged recently demanding the need to legalize cannabis cultivation in regions of the north, and to put an end to prosecutions that affect farmers of this prohibited plant.
Some of these voices found their way to the House of Representatives. On Tuesday, Nouredine Mediane, member of the Istiqlal Party, from El Hocima, fiercely defended the legalization of cannabis cultivation in Morocco, in the presence of Interior Minister Mohand Laenser.
According to Mediane, 300,000 people from Rif are prosecuted for cultivating cannabis, among them well-known figures in the north and some municipal councilors.
Median and Shabbat explained that the uses of the cannabis are not always for making drugs, but it can also provide an important material for the industrial and medical products in Morocco.
Last year, two leaders of the Istiqlal party, Nouredine Mediane and Hamid Chabat, proposed during a meeting held in Ketama, a city in the north of Morocco, the legalization of cannabis cultivation.
In 2009, a number of leaders of the Party of Authenticity and Modernity (PAM) urged the government to legalize the cultivation of cannabis.
Antonio Maria Costa, Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, warned earlier that loosening restrictions on illegal drugs will cause a health disaster in developing countries.
The latest report of the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) revealed that Morocco is no longer the world’s largest producer of hashish in the world.
According to the same report, Europe is the largest market for Moroccan cannabis. However, new competitors from Afghanistan and India have made recently their entry to the European market.
“The majority of North African cannabis resin consumed in Europe traditionally comes from Morocco but recent data show that the relative importance of that source country could be on the decline, whereas the relative importance of other countries, such as Afghanistan and India, is on the increase,” says the report.