Latest news on drug policy issues in the international media


  • Cannabis legalization : The reservations of Moroccan growers

    The coordination also defends the recreational use of cannabis
    Yabiladi (Morocco)
    Thursday, April 29, 2021

    morocco cannabis grower1To accompany Bill 13-21, a coordination of cannabis growers and the descendants of farmers met with the parties represented in the Lower House to present a memorandum. It calls for authorizing the recreational use of this plant, establishing a general amnesty, defining a reference price and granting more roles to cooperatives. Mohammed Kharchiche, a member of the coordination, referred to the question of cooperatives. «The role of these has been reduced in the bill, acting only on collection and distribution of the harvest for companies which creates a sort of monopoly». The coordination considers that «cooperatives must also have the right to proceed with the transformation of the product and its valuation, so that they can really participate in local development».

  • Maroc : Plaidoyer pour une amnistie des cultivateurs et l’usage récréatif du cannabis

    La coordination appelle aussi à une amnistie générale à tous les cultivateurs et les personnes poursuivies
    Yabiladi (Maroc)
    Mercredi, 28 avril 2021

    morocco cannabis grower2A la vielle de la promulgation de la loi sur les usages légaux, la Coordination des zones d'origine du cannabis, qui se compose d'agriculteurs et de descendants de cultivateurs de cannabis dans les régions historiques des provinces d'Al Hoceima et de Chefchaouen est mobilisée. Elle a, en effet, rencontré tous les partis politiques représentés à la Chambre des représentants pour leur présenter son mémorandum. La coordination défend aussi l’usage récréatif du cannabis. «Cela se fera à l'image des pays ayant légalisé le cannabis», explique ce membre qui ajoute qu’il s’agit d’un «marché noir que l’Etat doit exploiter, sinon il tombera entres les mains de barons, de gangs et de cartels». (Lire aussi: Abdelouafi Laftit sur la légalisation du cannabis : “Nous n'avons plus de temps à perdre”)

  • Should the EU help legalize cannabis farms in Morocco?

    Political fights are delaying Morocco's legalization of cannabis. But, thanks to the rise of medical marijuana, the measure fits well with EU development aims and international drug policy
    Deutsche Welle (Germany)
    Wednesday, April 28, 2021

    morocco parliament cannabisShould 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. Cannabis legalization has been suggested before in Morocco. It is hard to know whether the draft law will pass, Khalid Mouna, an associate anthropology professor at Moulay Ismail University in Meknes. Mouna said that had mostly been a tactic to gain the support of voters in deprived cannabis-growing areas. This time could be different, said Tom Blickman, a researcher on international drugs policy for the Amsterdam-based Transnational Institute. "I think it's serious because the initiative comes from the government, and behind the government is the palace," he said, referring to the Moroccan royal family. "Previous proposals came from the opposition."

  • Grow landrace cannabis strains with ‘fair trade’ seeds from the source

    Landrace cannabis strains may hold the genetic building blocks for breeding the next generation of game-changing hybrid strains
    Leafly (US)
    Monday, April 26, 2021

    cannabis seedsThroughout India and Southeast Asia, indigenous farmers grow cannabis and make hashish using methods passed down for untold generations. Despite a global push to end prohibition, these traditional cannabis communities continue to struggle economically, as changes in climate and encroaching tourism threaten their existence. Now they find their unique landrace cannabis genetics under threat. Attempts to locate, preserve, and proliferate these strains date back decades. But most such efforts have been led by geographic and cultural outsiders, often driven more by profits than preservation. Over the past five years a grassroots, locally-led, globally crowdsourced effort, the Indian Landrace Exchange, has emerged to help defend and support these local cannabis-growing communities.

  • Cannabis: les cultivateurs s’organisent dans un cadre légal

    Ce sont des habitants des zones historiquement connues pour la culture du cannabis, qui ont mis en place ce cadre associatif avec pour principal objectif de défendre les droits des petits cultivateurs
    Le 360 (Maroc)
    Dimanche, 25 April 2021

    morocco cannabis moqueDans les provinces d’Al Hoceima et de Chaouen, les cultivateurs de la plante de cannabis ont décidé de lancer une initiative légale pour accompagner la mise en œuvre de la nouvelle législation relative à cette culture. D’après le quotidien Al Ahdath Al Maghribia, ces derniers viennent de créer la «Coordination des zones d’origine du cannabis». Cette initiative intervient au moment où le nouveau projet de loi sur les usages légaux du cannabis vient tout juste d’être présenté par le ministre de l’Intérieur devant le Parlement. Parmi les premières revendications de cette organisation associative, une révision du casier judiciaire des personnes recherchées pour cette activité, l’assainissement du foncier consacré à cette culture et l’accélération du renforcement du rôle des coopératives.

  • Alcohol giant Diageo, Tobacco giant Reynolds, and Morgan Stanley among companies newly lobbying on cannabis

    The involvement of tobacco and alcohol companies is an unwelcome development for some cannabis reform advocates
    Cannabiswire (US)
    Wednesday, April 21, 2021

    dollar cannabisThe US House of Representatives passed a bill to expand cannabis industry access to banking. While a version of that bill stalled in the last Senate, Democrats now have a majority. Major companies are taking notice. Cannabis Wire was the first news organization to report that Marlboro maker Altria had started to get into cannabis lobbying at the state level, through its registration on cannabis sales in Virginia, and that the company planned to lobby at the federal level. Last month, Altria joined Molson Coors and other mainstream companies, like Brink’s, to launch the national Coalition for Cannabis Policy, Education, and Regulation. Then, this month, the Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity and the Reason Foundation launched another national group called the Cannabis Freedom Alliance.

  • Lesotho firm first in Africa to be granted EU licence for medical cannabis

    Breakthrough could create thousands of jobs for villagers and help exports to other markets
    The Guardian (UK)
    Wednesday, April 21, 2021

    lesotho cannabis productionA company in Lesotho has become the first in Africa to receive a licence to sell medical cannabis to the EU. The country’s top medical cannabis producer, MG Health, announced it had met the EU’s good manufacturing practice (GMP) standards, allowing it to export cannabis flower, oil and extracts as an active pharmaceutical ingredient. It will export its first batch to Germany later this year. The GMP guidelines are the minimum requirements a manufacturer or producer must meet to ensure products are safe and of a consistent high quality. They are used to control the licensing for sale of food and pharmaceutical and medical products. (See also: A Lesotho dagga grower just landed Africa’s first approval to sell to the EU)

  • Senate Democrats split over legalizing weed

    Several are opposed to Majority Leader Chuck Schumer's legalization push
    Politico (US)
    Tuesday, April 20, 2021

    Chuck SchumerTwo Democrats told Politico that they oppose removing federal penalties on marijuana. Schumer can't afford to lose a single vote on his side of the aisle in his legalization push, and that's before an even tougher battle to win over Republicans who have little interest in working with Democrats. If Schumer can't find a path to Senate passage this year, with a midterm election that's historically not been kind to the president's party, it could mean a long delay before pot is legal in the U.S. — even as 18 states have embraced full legalization. (See also: Schumer worries Senate marijuana banking vote could undermine broader legalization push)

  • Lebanon's crisis-hit farmers turn to growing hashish

    Hashish production was once limited to a few villages in the Baalbek, including Yammouneh, but its deputy mayor Hussein Shreif said it is now gaining traction across the whole region
    Agence France Presse (AFP)
    Tuesday, April 20, 2021

    For three decades Abu Ali planted potatoes to provide for his family, but Lebanon's economic crisis has driven up production costs and forced him to swap the crop for cannabis. "It's not for the love of hashish," the 57-year-old told AFP in the eastern Baalbek region, the heart of Lebanon's illicit cannabis industry. "It's just less expensive than other crops... and allows you to live with dignity." Lebanon is in the throes of a spiralling economic crisis compounded by the coronavirus pandemic. As the value of the local currency plunges on the black market, the cost of imported fuel, seeds, fertilisers and pesticides priced in dollars has skyrocketed. More and more small farmers, who were already in dire straits before the crisis, are deciding to grow cannabis instead.

  • Germany: Greens campaign for legal cannabis on 4/20

    In Germany it’s illegal, but Annalena Baerboeck and her Green Party could change that
    Deutsche Welle (Germany)
    Tuesday, April 20, 2021

    germany regulieren statt kriminalisierenApril 19 will go down in German political history as the day Annalena Baerbock was elected the Green Party's first-ever chancellor candidate. Assuming the party is ready to govern, the very next day may well be remarkable as well. April 20, referred to among marijuana enthusiasts as 4/20, has become an international counterculture holiday, where people gather to celebrate and consume cannabis. Many such events have a political nature to them, too, advocating the legalization of cannabis. On Twitter, the Greens wrote: "Cannabis is the most consumed illegal drug in Germany — the proportion of minors consuming it is increasing. For real youth & health protection there must be rules for the trade and a controlled distribution of cannabis!” 

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