Recently, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) published its World Drug Report. According to the reports, Morocco is still the top producers of what is known as hash. Behind the country are Afghanistan, Lebanon, India, and Pakistan. There are continuous reports from enforcements about police finding massive fields of cannabis plants.

Towards the beginning of the month, police officials announced that they had seized more than 4,000 tons of “cannabis,” which was more likely than not hashish rather than just the plant at El Guergarat crossing on the border with Mauritania. It is worth noting that this is not exactly in Morocco, but rather is in Moroccan-controlled territories in the Western Sahara. The stash was in a truck that was on its way to a nearby country and the driver was incarcerated. In addition, the possibility of a drug trafficking network between Morocco and exit ports in West Africa was opened up.

However, a measure to stop the underground networks by legalizing the drug in Morocco is actually gaining some popularity, and proponents are pushing for it to occur this year. The “Maroc Cannabis 2016” campaign aims to make marijuana legal to grow and turn it into a regulated and taxed industry. Morocco World News reports that marijuana growth has been very popular in the country since at least the 15th century. For the country’s multitude of peasants and farm laborers, legalizing cannabis growth could get rid of poverty, and greatly increase the economy.

Chakib Al-Khayari, an activist from Morocco, states that “the ultimate goal is to develop the Rif region and fight against illicit trafficking.” To the surprise of many, an anonymous source from the Ministry of Health also had a few words: “The production of cannabis is undoubtedly an income generating activity. Legalizing its production and consumption will contribute to the Moroccan GDP by more than 4.5 percentage points per year.”

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