The decision to go ahead with medical cannabis regulation in Morocco is causing a major political ruckus and is tearing apart the PJD party according to local reports.

 

Former Head of Government Abdelilah Benkirane accuses Minister of Human Rights Mustafa Ramid, labor minister Mohamed Amkeraz, and Minister of Mines Aziz Rabbah thugs and uses the anti Islam line against them too.

This is going to be an ongoing issue, we’d suggest, and investors should rush in blind to Moroccan politics.

 

Here’s the latest report from Morocco World News

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.

 

Also…. there’s a behind the scenes report from media outlet Yabiladi

Right before the government council approved Bill 13-21 on the legal use of cannabis in Morocco, Saadeddine El Othmani tried to convince Abdelilah Benkirane to change his position on the text, which has shaken during the month of February, the ruling party.

The government council, which met Thursday in Rabat, approved Bill 13-21 on the legalization of cannabis in Morocco. The text, which sets a legal framework for the cultivation of cannabis for therapeutic purposes, will be sent to Parliament for final approval. Said bill also sets the legal framework for the creation of a National Agency for the use and cultivation of cannabis in the Kingdom.

Drafted and submitted by the Interior Ministry, the examination of the bill was postponed twice by the government council. The examination of Bill 13-21 sparked controversy within the Justice and Development Party (PJD), which has been leading the executive branch of the government of Morocco since 29 November 2011.

To iron out the differences, the head of government and PJD secretary general Saadeddine El Othmani visited this week Abdelilah Benkirane, one of the first party members who firmly opposed said bill.

El Othmani and Benkirane

Speaking to Yabiladi on Thursday, PJD member Slimane El Amrani confirmed this meeting, adding that El Othmani visited Abdelilah Benkirane at his home in Rabat. «I have not yet met with the Secretary General to find out what was discussed during said visit», he said.

For his part, former head of government Abdelilah Benkirane told Yabiladi that Saadeddine El Othmani explained to him the context of this bill on the legalization of cannabis. «But we did not discuss the content of the bill», he said. The former secretary general of the PJD added that his position on the bill presented by the Interior Ministry has not changed and «will not change».

«My position is still the same and I will not back down».

Abdelilah Benkirane

Slimane El Amrani and Abdelilah Benkirane thus confirm the information revealed by daily Asharq al-Awsat which indicated that the meeting was held on Tuesday, specifying that it took place in order «to ease tension within the party that was triggered by the discussion by the government of a bill on the use of cannabis».

A text that shakes the PJD

At the beginning of March, Abdelilah Benkirane threatened to freeze his membership in the party if the general secretariat of the political movement approved this bill, and to leave the PJD if its elected representatives voted this text in Parliament. His reaction encouraged other party members to respond, such as Hassan Hamourou, a member of the party’s National Council who said he shared the same position.

The general secretariat of the Lamp party is also divided on this issue. On Saturday, during its weekly meeting, the party’s executive body pleaded for the development of an impact study «on the bill», to open a public debate on this subject and «to broaden institutional consultations to his subject».

A few days earlier and as the government announced the review of the controversial text, the president of the PJD national council, Driss Azami El Idrissi announced his resignation. «Unfortunately, I can no longer tolerate, understand and cannot explain or accept what is happening inside the party. I cannot change it, and I cannot support it», he said. A resignation which coincided with the republication by Abdelilah Benkirane of an intervention dating from April 11, 2016 in which the former head of government condemned calls for the legalization of cannabis by other political parties in the country.

…More : https://en.yabiladi.com/articles/details/107070/behind-scenes-adoption-cannabis-legalization.html

 

 

Also read more at Atalayar

The government council, which met Thursday in Rabat, approved Bill 13-21 on the legalization of cannabis in Morocco. The text, which sets a legal framework for the cultivation of cannabis for therapeutic purposes, will be sent to Parliament for final approval. Said bill also sets the legal framework for the creation of a National Agency for the use and cultivation of cannabis in the Kingdom.

Drafted and submitted by the Interior Ministry, the examination of the bill was postponed twice by the government council. The examination of Bill 13-21 sparked controversy within the Justice and Development Party (PJD), which has been leading the executive branch of the government of Morocco since 29 November 2011.

To iron out the differences, the head of government and PJD secretary general Saadeddine El Othmani visited this week Abdelilah Benkirane, one of the first party members who firmly opposed said bill.

El Othmani and Benkirane

Speaking to Yabiladi on Thursday, PJD member Slimane El Amrani confirmed this meeting, adding that El Othmani visited Abdelilah Benkirane at his home in Rabat. «I have not yet met with the Secretary General to find out what was discussed during said visit», he said.

For his part, former head of government Abdelilah Benkirane told Yabiladi that Saadeddine El Othmani explained to him the context of this bill on the legalization of cannabis. «But we did not discuss the content of the bill», he said. The former secretary general of the PJD added that his position on the bill presented by the Interior Ministry has not changed and «will not change».

«My position is still the same and I will not back down».

Abdelilah Benkirane

Slimane El Amrani and Abdelilah Benkirane thus confirm the information revealed by daily Asharq al-Awsat which indicated that the meeting was held on Tuesday, specifying that it took place in order «to ease tension within the party that was triggered by the discussion by the government of a bill on the use of cannabis».

A text that shakes the PJD

At the beginning of March, Abdelilah Benkirane threatened to freeze his membership in the party if the general secretariat of the political movement approved this bill, and to leave the PJD if its elected representatives voted this text in Parliament. His reaction encouraged other party members to respond, such as Hassan Hamourou, a member of the party’s National Council who said he shared the same position.

The general secretariat of the Lamp party is also divided on this issue. On Saturday, during its weekly meeting, the party’s executive body pleaded for the development of an impact study «on the bill», to open a public debate on this subject and «to broaden institutional consultations to his subject».

A few days earlier and as the government announced the review of the controversial text, the president of the PJD national council, Driss Azami El Idrissi announced his resignation. «Unfortunately, I can no longer tolerate, understand and cannot explain or accept what is happening inside the party. I cannot change it, and I cannot support it», he said. A resignation which coincided with the republication by Abdelilah Benkirane of an intervention dating from April 11, 2016 in which the former head of government condemned calls for the legalization of cannabis by other political parties in the country.

…More : https://en.yabiladi.com/articles/details/107070/behind-scenes-adoption-cannabis-legalization.html