Interesting piece published in the Middle East Monitor on Morocco’s firm yes stance on the UN re-scheduling vote compared to  most of the rest of the region.

They write

Morocco was notable in being the only CND-member state from the MENA region to vote in favour and was only one of two African states to do so with Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Libya and Turkey voting “No”. Other Muslim-majority countries outside the region who voted against the decision were Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan and Turkmenistan.

In April Lebanon became the first Arab country to legalise cannabis for farming and industrial purposes and in May Israel approved the exportation of medical cannabis.

However, World Morocco News reported that the legalisation of the cash crop could lead to a major economic boom for the North African country, which has been cultivating the cannabis plant for centuries. The cannabis trade in Morocco is said to be worth around $10 billion a year, supplying 70 per cent of the European cannabis market. It is also the world’s biggest producer of hashish or cannabis resin which is mainly grown and produced in northern Rif Mountains, despite a nationwide prohibition on its production. Prior to 1956 it was legal in some parts of the country.

The industry also employs an estimated 800,000 people in the country, providing a source of income for around 90,000 to 140,000 families.

The kingdom has recently been intensifying its crackdown on drug trafficking activities with sources suggesting Morocco’s King Mohammed VI has ordered the hard-line approach after previous accusations of turning a blind eye to the lucrative drug trade. Last year the number of individuals arrested in drug-related cases in Morocco reached 127,049, an increase of 38 per cent compared to the previous year and seized over 179 tonnes of cannabis.

As recently as Wednesday it was reported that Moroccan security services in the city of Fez had seized 1.3 tonnes of cannabis resin from two drug traffickers and the day before thwarted a cocaine smuggling operation in Tangier in collaboration with the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

Read the full  Article at the Link

Morocco votes 'Yes' in historic UN vote on rescheduling cannabis