Prime Minister Saad El Othmani will chair a committee, which will examine a bill relating to the use of cannabis. In December 2020, Morocco voted in favor of removing cannabis from the drug category of Annex IV of the United Nations. The Moroccan government council will discuss Thursday February 25 a project on "the legal use of cannabis," the head of government announced on Tuesday.
The head of government will examine the bill on the legalization of cannabis use, can we read in the déclaration which does not give more details on the bill. However, the announcement of this bill comes just months after Morocco voted to remove cannabis from the United Nations Schedule IV list of drugs that have little or no therapeutic use.
Morocco was the only member of the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) in the Middle East and North Africa region to give a positive sign for removing cannabis from the list of toxic substances. Algeria, Bahrain and Egypt all voted against this decision.
The consumption of cannabis is illegal in Morocco; it is criminalized by the country's penal code. But this drug is still among the most widely used substances in Morocco. Authorities frequently suppress resin trafficking of cannabis.
One of the recent operations took place in Rabat on Monday, where police seized 9,5 tonnes of cannabis resin. A few years ago, a movement called "Maroc Cannabis 2016" called on the government to legalize the production of cannabis and Morocco.
The data of a report published in 2019 by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) confirmed that Morocco is the largest producer of cannabis in the world. The country produces more than three times as much as the next European country, Moldova.
At a time of rapprochement between Morocco and Israel, the Moroccan magazine As is thus suggested at the end of December that the government "take inspiration from the Israeli model" in terms of legalization. Israel has in fact allowed cannabis for therapeutic purposes since 2006. In 2015, the Authenticity and Modernity Party (opposition) tabled a bill aimed at legalizing cannabis for industrial and therapeutic use. At the time, the initiative had been firmly rejected by the government, which now seems more open.
An annual production that would generate 23 billion dollars
Cannabis production in Morocco continues to grow, with herbal cannabis production increasing from 35653 tonnes in 2016 to 35703 tonnes in 2017, according to the rapport.
It remains to be seen whether the government will approve the bill on the legal use of cannabis in Morocco.
In addition to the cannabis bill, the government council will examine three draft decrees implementing the decree-law relating to the promulgation of exceptional measures for the benefit of employers affiliated with the National Social Security Fund (CNSS) and their employees. declared employees.