At least 800,000 Moroccans live off illegal marijuana cultivation, generating annual sales estimated at $10bn, or 10 per cent of the economy, according to the Moroccan Network for the Industrial and Medicinal use of Marijuana, a local charity.
Morocco, with a population of 32 million, is Africa’s sixth-largest economy. Legalisation would allow farmers to sell to the government for medicinal and industrial purposes rather than to drug traffickers. That could boost exports and help reduce a trade deficit that widened to a record 197 billion dirhams last year, about 23 per cent of gross domestic product. It could also help pacify inhabitants of a historically restive region after Arab Spring uprisings toppled regimes in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia.
If Uruguay’s proposal to regulate the production, sale and distribution of marijuana is properly implemented and overcomes political and economic hurdles, it could be the most important drug regulation experiment in decades. [...]
Unlike in the Netherlands, where cannabis cultivation is still technically banned, this will legalize and regulate every step in the process of marijuana production and distribution. [...]
It now appears set to pass the lower house in a July 31 vote with the support of the FA’s slim majority, despite the fact that public opinion remains mostly opposed to the measure.
The debate on this bill is going on now. It will then have to pass the Senate, which is likely.