North Africa

Morocco questions cannabis prohibition

Posted on December 5th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , .

North AfricaMoroccan lawmakers on Dec. 4 opened an unprecedented debate on legalizing medical and industrial uses of cannabis. The discussion of positive uses of cannabis cultivation "in creating an alternative economy" in Morocco, one of the world's top exporters, was convened following a campaign by dissident politicians.  "We are organizing a research day in parliament...on the use of medical kif, with Moroccan and international experts present," said Mehdi Bensaid, an MP with the Party of Authenticity and Modernity (PAM), adding that lawmakers are "looking at controlled rather than total legalization." Activists from Switzerland spoke about their country's experience with a recent decrim law at the session, which Bensaid called "the first step towards a draft law."

Morocco hashish exports through the roof

Posted on October 10th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

North AfricaAlgeria  seized more than 127 metric tons of hashish coming in from Morocco in the first eight months of 2013, authorities announced Oct. 2. Some 12,500 suspected traffickers were arrested and large quantities of various  psychotropic pills were also confiscated in raids. (These two trades seem to together in Middle East networks.) Algeria has officially closed its border with the conservative kingdom to the west since 1994, citing political tensions and the flow of contraband. But the trade obviously flourishes, with subsidized Algerian fuel  smuggled into Morocco in a dope-for-oil deal. In 2012, more than 157 tons of cannabis were seized in Algeria, compared with 53  in 2011. The explosion has prompted Algiers to beef up security on its western frontier. (Lebanon Daily Star, Oct. 2)

French navy pops 20 tons in sea raid

Posted on September 13th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , .

The French navy announced Sept. 12 that it had made a record cannabis seizure in the Mediterranean sea after intercepting a ship carrying 20 tons, with an estimated value of 50 million euros. "To the best of our knowledge it is the biggest seizure by the French state in the Mediterranean," vice-admiral Yves Joly told reporters in Toulon. The Tanzania-flagged Luna-S was boarded by French naval forces in international waters between Italy and Algeria. The eight-member crew, tentatively identified as Syrians, set the cannabis on fire as the French patrol ship approached, and dramatic photos were released of smoke rising from the deck. The Luna-S had left Morocco days earlier. Tanzanian authorities say they are investigating the ship, which was registered to a company in the Marshall Islands. 

Sahara separatists in cannabis crackdown

Posted on August 19th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , .

North AfricaSecurity forces of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic on Aug. 19 announced the seizure of 300 kilograms  of cannabis in operations along the security wall built by the Moroccan military, which divides Morocco-occupied Western Sahara on the western side from the interior desert controlled by the  Sahrawi rebels. In a statement to the press, the Saharawi National Gendarmerie Directorate said their patrols "have arrested three groups [that] were smuggling drugs from Morocco to northern Mali via the Saharawi liberated territory." The statement said five four-wheel-drive vehicles had been seized as well. "These groups are now at the hand of Saharawi justice," added the statement.

Morocco: more hash seized

Posted on August 14th, 2010 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

North AfricaMorocco's royal navy intercepted two dinghies loaded with 2.725 tons of cannabis resin (locally known as chira) off the coast of Nador on Aug. 13. The four occupants of the boat, equipped with two 200-horsepower engines, managed to escape.

Morocco: six tons incinerated

Posted on May 30th, 2010 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

North AfricaMorocco's Royal Gendarmerie announced the seizure and incineration of 5.8 tons of "chira" or cannabis in the southeastern province of Errachidia this month. Last December, Moroccan authorities seized nearly 10 tons of cannabis in the same region and arrested six suspected members of an international trafficking network—three Malians, two Moroccans and one Algerian.

Mass cannabis trial in Morocco

Posted on March 26th, 2010 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

North AfricaNearly 90 people, including many members of the security forces, were sentenced in Morocco to prison terms for cannabis trafficking on March 5. The court in Casablanca handed down sentences of between three months and 10 years to most of the 87 defendants, who included 55 members of the navy, police, army and auxiliary forces. Four of the defendants were acquitted. The network, which was dismantled in a series of busts in January 2009, operated in the northern Nador region and exported more than 30 tons of hashish to Europe over several years. (Middle East  Online, March 5)

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