Morocco adopted a bill legalizing cannabis use for therapeutic use today, making the country one of the few states in Africa to adopt the measure.
Former Head of Government Abdelilah Benkirane has suspended his membership with the Justice and Development Party (PJD), after Morocco’s government council adopted a bill legalizing cannabis production for therapeutic use.
Benkirane announced the news in a short note today, stressing his decision to cut ties with several PJD members, including Head of Government Saad Eddine El Othmani.
El Othmani also serves as a secretary-general of the leading political party.
In addition to El Othmani, the notice written on a small piece of white paper also announced Benkirane’s decision to cut relations with Minister of Human Rights Mustafa Ramid, labor minister Mohamed Amkeraz, and Minister of Mines Aziz Rabbah.
The aforementioned officials are also members of the PJD.
Benkirane’s decision comes a few weeks after he appeared in a video, heavily criticizing the draft bill on cannabis legalization.
In February, the former official called people supporting the legalization of cannabis in Morocco “thugs.”
For Benkirane, the cannabis decision would mean “disasters will take place all over Morocco, its reputation will be at stake.”
He also argued that the decision is against Islam, and cited the increase of crime due to drugs.