Seeing cannabis differently

Legalization which should change many things After its favorable vote for the official recognition of the medicinal properties of cannabis at the 63rd session of the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND), Morocco is taking a new step on the path of legalization of use cannabis. It has just started examining Bill 13.21 on the legal use of cannabis, in anticipation of its adoption at the next Council. One of the salient features of this project will be the creation of a specialized National Agency whose mission is to supervise the purchase and sale of the plant to companies with the aim of using it for medicinal purposes and for national and international transformation purposes. There will also be six cannabis cultivation zones set up across the Kingdom, located, a priori, in the north of the country. Outside of these historically cannabis-producing areas, recreational cultivation and use will remain prohibited. However, it is legitimate to wonder if this bill will resolve an issue with strong political and socio-economic stakes crossed by power struggles. It will also be a question of whether this project meets the expectations of growers who see cannabis not as “a survival activity” but also as a “culture of resistance” to economic and political marginalization, as noted by Khalid Mouna and KenzaAfsahi, in their article: “The legalization of cannabis, an ethnography of a political debate in the Rif of Morocco”. According to them, for these growers, the debate on the cultivation of cannabis in Morocco goes beyond the simple question of the simple regulation of an economic activity by the State or the use of cannabis as a security or public health issue. (as in other countries), it is for them to restore “in dignity those who cultivate it by their decriminalization or the historical legitimization of the product”. A most complicated situation since these growers were excluded from the national debate on the legalization of cannabis and this from the first years of its launch. According to the two researchers, this debate has been dominated by the state which sets the pace and alternates highlights and times of silence. Indeed, “Cannabis cultivation is characterized by power issues and power struggles between different actors. This reality also reveals the complexity of a debate on legalization which does not seem to lead to realistic solutions shared by the different parties. This debate is no longer only invested at the national level by exogenous actors but now also at the local level ”, underline the editors of the said article. Khalid Mouna and KenzaAfsahi indicate, moreover, that “since the mobilizations of 2011, the local actors have mobilized several means of communication to publicize their suffering and denounce the blackmail which they consider systematic of the police forces spread over the territory of the Rif ”. They add that some of the arguments used by growers are then exploited by political parties in the debate over legalizing cannabis. It was not until, specify the two researchers, the involvement of certain young associative activists from the area of ​​cannabis cultivation, by mobilizing “the local identities of the bled du kif” for the situation to change. During the municipal elections of September 2011, the local actors of the bled du kif mobilized to form alliances based on ethnic affiliations. The candidates mobilized the arguments of the debate on the legalization of cannabis to defeat their rivals. The local associations which represent the growers have managed to organize themselves better and have enabled the growers to realize that federating could give them more weight in the heart of a debate which can no longer be without their participation. Khalid Mouna who is also the author of the book: “Le bled du kif: Economy and power among the Ketama of the Rif”, had told us in a previous edition, that the cultivation of cannabis in the central Rif is not only a economic activity, but also a factor of social stability. He added that the government’s desire to legalize cannabis for medical purposes is called upon to face certain challenges and practical questions relating to the way of production, the type of product and the quality of production. This requires, according to him, still time and reflection. Remember that the CND recently decided to reclassify cannabis and its resin in international conventions. Cannabis could thus be used in the manufacture of medicines, like opium or morphine, without its use being discouraged by the UN as has been the case until then. Morocco was among the 27 countries that voted at the 63rd session of the CND for official recognition of the medicinal properties of cannabis. It was the only country in the MENA region to vote in favor of removing cannabis from the category of drugs in Schedule IV of the 1961 Convention. Hassan Bentaleb What about the kif legislation? The Government Council, meeting Thursday by videoconference under the chairmanship of the head of government Saad Dine El Otmani, began examining Bill 13.21 on the legal use of cannabis, in anticipation of its adoption at the next Council. Presented by the Minister of the Interior, this draft law will be completed and approved at the next Government Council, said the Minister of National Education, Vocational Training, Higher Education and Scientific Research. -speak of the government, Saaid Amzazi, in a statement read during a press briefing, held at the end of the Council of government. The text of the law consulted by AFP provides for the creation of a “National Agency for the regulation of activities linked to cannabis” responsible for “developing an agricultural and industrial circuit” in the regions “authorized to produce”. The text makes no mention of current production – estimated at over 700 tonnes, worth $ 23 billion (around € 19 billion), according to a study published in 2020 by the independent network “Global Initiative Against Transnational Crime organized “. The quantities produced legally should not exceed the volumes “necessary for the production of a medical, pharmaceutical and industrial nature”, indicates only the bill specifying that the growers will have to integrate “agricultural cooperatives” and deal only with authorized companies. The cultivation, sale or consumption of drugs is strictly prohibited in Morocco. But in the north of the country, a large producing region, kif is part of the local heritage, its consumption is widely tolerated and its production supports between 90,000 and 140,000 people, from cultivation to resale, according to estimates. The Kingdom reduced the areas of cannabis from 134,000 ha to 47,500 ha between 2003 and 2011 as part of a major reconversion program, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). Legalizing therapeutic use will allow it to position itself on a world market “with annual growth of 30% globally and 60% at European level”, according to a note from the Moroccan Ministry of the Interior. This will also “improve the living conditions of farmers and protect them from drug trafficking networks”, according to the same source. According to a study by Grand View Research in 2017, the global medical cannabis market could reach $ 55.8 billion in 2025 (around 50 billion euros), five times more than in 2015. The commission Narcotics Agency removed cannabis from its list of the most dangerous drugs last December, which paved the way for the recognition of the medicinal and therapeutic potential of this plant, which is banned in many countries. Your opinion interests us. However, Libé will refuse to disseminate any form of hateful, defamatory, slanderous or injurious message to honor and privacy. 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