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Cannabis: why it is urgent to reform the "law 52" in Tunisia

Human Rights Watch said Tuesday that Tunisia was to reform the "law 52", a controversial text which makes it systematically punishable by imprisonment of drug consumption, mainly cannabis.

In a report entitled "All this for a seal," published on January 2, the NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW), based in New York, denounced the "social cost" of the "Law 52", enacted in 1992 by the dictatorship of Zine el Abidine Ben Ali. Legislation that provides for a minimum sentence of one year of drug use in prison and prohibited judges to take into account mitigating circumstances.

Consequence: the prisons are full of simple pot smokers. Nearly a third of sentenced prisoners in Tunisia were arrested in connection with drug cases, including a majority of "zatla" consumers (cannabis resin).

In late December, 7451 people were imprisoned in Tunisia under the "law 52", of which 4189 have been the subject of a conviction, the...

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