By Asmaa Bahadi
By Asmaa Bahadi
Rabat – According to Abdessamad Sekkal, president of the Rabat-Salé-Kenitra region and part of the Justice and Development Party (PJD), the high value of cannabis owes to the fact that 99 per cent of the plants cultivated in Morocco are used directly in the manufacture of drugs.
During an academic day, organized by the National Coalition of Drug Control in Rabat, Sekkal said the topic of cannabis needs to be deliberated logically, to the exclusion of politics and elections.
In addition, he emphasized that the main dilemma goes beyond the cultivation of cannabis to the fact that “This type of agriculture leads to the production of drugs, which means every process that aims to facilitate cultivation of cannabis would only lead automatically to the exacerbation of the spread of drugs.”
He also added that legalizing cannabis cultivation in the northern areas would not be a guarantee of its prohibition in drug production, and pointed out that in a situation where cultivation were to spread to other areas the plant would lose value.
In disagreement with recommendations concluded by the Economic, Social and Environmental Council, at the international seminar held on March 18-19 in Tangier, Abdessamad Sekkal believes this type of cultivation is leading to the destruction of local development in northern areas, as well as social disintegration.
He also stressed the interference of political and electoral interests in this debate where the issue, considered taboo, has great implications for the future of the country.
Furthermore, the Economic, Social and Environmental Council resolved, at the end of the seminar, to submit a petition to king Mohammed VI, to be entrusted with setting public policies for cannabis cultivation in the near future.
Simultaneously, the National Coalition for Drug Control is against the legalization of cannabis cultivation in Morocco.
Rachida Elmokrie Abouzayd, head of the coalition, underlined that the United Nations Office against Drugs and Crime indicates in its report for the year 2014 that 170 million people across the world consume cannabis.
On the contrary, both the PAM and PI parties support alternative uses of cannabis, particularly in the industrial and medical field. Moreover, the two parties proposed a new law that legalizes cannabis cultivation, considering it an economical foundation for northern regions like Rif; their proposal has faced objections from many associations and parties, such as the PJD.
Edited by Clint Brooks