By Cathrin Schaer
Should draft legislation clear the final hurdles in the next few weeks, Morocco could become the second Arab country to legalize cannabis. Lebanon was the first in 2020.
According to various international agencies, including the UN and the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, Morocco is one of the world’s largest producers of cannabis and the biggest supplier of illegal by-products such as hashish that are bound for the EU. Legalizing cannabis for medical and industrial purposes could have a positive impact on around a million subsistence farmers, mostly in the north of the country.
The law has become one of the most divisive topics in the run-up to Morocco’s national elections in September. It is hard to know whether the draft law will pass, Khalid Mouna, an associate anthropology professor at Moulay Ismail University in Meknes, northern Morocco, told DW. Mouna studies cannabis-grower communities. “The project is still up for debate in the first chamber and it is being weaponized by political adversaries,” he said.