Tourists roll up for Morocco's cannabis trail

It may not feature in Morocco's official tourism brochures but cannabis attracts thousands of visitors a year to the North African country. At a hotel bar in the northern region of Ketama, German tourist Beatrix made no attempt to hide the joint she was rolling.

The 57-year-old said she had fallen in love with the area for "the quality of its hashish and the friendliness of its residents". Hassan, a 40-something sporting a conspicuous gold watch, said cannabis was "our main source of wealth".


The green gold rush: Could Africa be on the verge of a weed race?

Several African governments are considering tapping a lucrative natural resource.

More than 10,000 tons of cannabis are produced on the continent each year, according to a UN survey, which advocates believe could be worth billions of dollars in a rapidly expanding global market for legal weed.

African governments have not yet followed the trend of legalization seen in Europe and the Americas. But Lesotho's recent announcement of the continent's first legal license to grow marijuana is part of a wider shift toward more liberal policies.


Tunisia and Morocco on the Road Towards a New Cannabis Policy – a Slow Start and the First Fruits

While just a few years ago, it was still taboo to talk about legalising cannabis in Morocco and Tunisia, nowadays, everyone is talking about it.

Thanks to a law that was reformed just recently, but which even now punishes almost any contact with hemp with a 1 to 25-year prison sentence, Tunisia’s jails are still full of cannabis users. These draconian punishments, which were introduced in 1992 under ex-dictator Ben Ali, were amended very slightly at the end of March by the new Tunisian government following massive public criticism. Judges are now allowed to grant a pardon for a first offence.


Some Arab governments are rethinking harsh cannabis laws

“WHEN we think about our future, our dreams, we have nothing,” says a young man in Sidi Bouzid. Life in the Tunisian town that launched the Arab spring has barely changed since the country’s old dictator, Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, was ousted in 2011. Unemployment is even higher nationally than before the uprising. Young people are worst-off, which helps explain why an alarming number join jihadist groups. The frustration drives others, including this young man, to use zatla, the local name for cannabis.


Can You Really Tell the Difference Between Sativa and Indica?

As a rookie smoker years ago I probably couldn’t tell what type of strain I was smoking based on its smoke, appearance, or smell but with time I was able to determine the effects of the strains I obtained. The differences in strain appearance were always vivid with almost all strains showing plenty of sticky resin but the smell would always differ. It wasn’t until about a few years down into smoking medical marijuana I was able to tell the difference between sativa and indica strains. Also, with the introduction of “hybrid strains” the possibilities of effects are almost endless.


Europe Spends Over $10 Billion on Cannabis Each Year

According to a recent report by a joint EU watchdog, published on May 24, 2016; Europeans spend a colossal 24 billion euros ($26.8 billion) on illicit substances which, according to the report, fund crime syndicates and terrorism and“are one of the key threats to the security of the EU”.

The largest proportion of this expenditure goes to cannabis, which makes up 38% of the illegal drug market in Europe. That amounts to 9.3 billion euros ($10.4 billion). The majority of this cannabis is grown within European borders.


Morocco: PAM Organizes International Conference on Cannabis Cultivation

Ilyass El Omari, President of the Regional Council of Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima, organized the first international conference on drugs and cannabis on 18 and 19 March in Tangier. 

Under the motto “All for Alternatives Based on Sustainable Development, Health and Human Rights,” elected officials, experts and scholars presented their views on the issue of cannabis plantations and alternatives available to local cultivators.


The Complicated History of Cannabis in the Islamic World

Although the Koran does not specifically outlaw cannabis, and it was apparently never mentioned by Mohammed himself, the plant and products made from it are still considered haraam (forbidden). However, cannabis grows and is processed into hashish in many Muslim-majority countries around the world, and it has been an undeniable part of the culture for centuries in many of these countries.  


Most Cannabis Destined for Europe is Smuggled from Morocco

Rabat – The 2015 report by the International Narcotics Control Board reported that Morocco remains one of the world’s largest producers of cannabis and is Europe’s leading supplier of cannabis resin.

The UN-affiliated board noted that since its visit to the Moroccan government in 2009, the kingdom has demonstrated a “high” level of cooperation in anti-narcotics efforts, especially in the fields of preventing citizens from using cannabis, reducing the area of lands cultivating the plant, and treating narcotics addiction.


Morocco, one of the largest cannabis resin producer in the world

Morocco is one of the largest producers of cannabis resin in the world, according to the 2015 report published by the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB).

Much of this production destined for Europe is smuggled from Morocco, notes the report of the INCB, an independent body to monitor the implementation of United Nations international conventions on drug control.

"Morocco remains one of the largest producers of cannabis resin and remains one of the main countries where the resin is smuggled to Europe," says the document, noting that "Morocco was these past ten years, among the three most frequently cited countries as source or transit area of ​​the seized resin in the world".


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