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North Africa

Morocco: political blow to cannabis legalization effort

Posted on August 24th, 2017 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

MoroccoMorocco has long been the world's leading cannabis producer, but the conservative monarchy has managed to keep any talk of legalization out of political discourse—until last year, when the country's biggest opposition party submitted a bill in parliament to at least allow cultivation for medicinal and industrial purposes. Now that effort has been dealt a setback, with the unexpected resignation of Ilyas El-Omari as head of the Authenticity and Modernity Party (PAM).

North Africa hashish trade booms —despite vigorous crackdown

Posted on February 28th, 2017 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , , .

North AfricaCountries both sides of the Mediterranean are stepping up joint operations against hashish flowing into Europe from North Africa. Spanish authorities on Feb. 17 boasted the dismantling of two smuggling networks that were bringing Moroccan hashish into the port of Málaga. In a two-day operation, Spain's Civil Guard arrested 50 people and confiscated a helicopter, cars, boats, cash and weapons, as well as 3.7 metric tons of hashish. Moroccan authorities cooperated in the investigation, according to a report on Morocco World News.

Morocco: push for (partial) legalization in 2016

Posted on July 13th, 2016 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , , , .

North AfricaAccording to the latest World Drug Report (PDF) released by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Morocco remains the planet's top producer of "cannabis resin" (hashish), followed by Afghanistan, Lebanon, India and Pakistan. Massive seizures continue to be regularly reported. As this month opened, security forces announced confiscation of over 4,000 tons of "cannabis" (probably hashish rather than unprocessed herb) at El Guergarat crossing on the border with Mauritania. (Moroccan news accounts did not mention that this is actually not in Morocco but in the Moroccan-occupied territory of Western Sahara.) The stash was hidden in a truck headed across the border; the driver was arrested and an investigation opened into a possible trafficking network linking Morocco to exit ports in West Africa.

Spanish police can't break Moroccan connection

Posted on January 28th, 2016 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , .

SpainOperation TELOS, an effort by Spain's Guardia Civil to halt the flow of Moroccan hashish into the Iberian peninsula, is now in its thrid year—but ongoing busts only testify to the ingenuity and resources of the smugglers. On Jan. 13, the Guardia announced that they'd broken up a ring that brought the stuff into Spain's southern province of Cadiz using a fleet of pleasure boats with false bottoms, arresting 17 people and seizing five of the boats along with 4.5 ton of hash. The arrests were made in a series of raids over the past months. The nationality of those arrested was not specified. 

Tunisia Pirate Party adopts cannabis leaf logo

Posted on December 28th, 2015 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , .

North AfricaTunisia, the first country to rise up and throw off its long dictatorship when revolution began to sweep the Arab world in 2011, is seen as the success story of the Arab Spring. With a new secular constitution, progressive forces have prevailed peacefully over an Islamist backlash. Rappers and feminist artists have become icons of the revolution. Now, Green Rush Daily reports that the Pirate Party of Tunisia has chosen to use the marijuana leaf as its identifying logo on the country’s ballot. It cites a write-up in Pirate Times, international organ of the movement, that "the Pirate Party of Tunisia has decided to participate in the next elections by highlighting the hemp symbol on its lists, which will attract the voters of those who support this cause."

'Narco-jihadist' threat seen in North Africa

Posted on July 17th, 2015 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , .

North AfricaWith ISIS in control of a chunk of Libya and Tunisia militarizing after a deadly terrorist attack, an article appears in the United Arab Emirates' The National warning of a "narco-jihadist" threat in North Africa. The commentary by Abdelkader Cheref, a professor at the State University of New York, warns that "huge quantities of Moroccan hashish transit through the Sahara where so-called narco-jihadists, who control a triangle of no-man's land between northern Mali and Niger, eastern Mauritania, southern Algeria and Libya, smuggle the shipments to Europe. There are mounting concerns regarding the links between Moroccan drug barons and narco-jihadists linked to Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa."

Italian police score hashish mega-haul in Mediterranean

Posted on June 8th, 2015 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , .

ItalyItalian police staged a joint operation in the Mediterranean with Turkish, French, Egyptian, Spanish, Moroccan and Europol forces June 5, intercepting a Turkish cargo ship that was found to be loaded with 12 tons of hashish, valued at an estimated 40 million euros. The 10 Turkish crew members were detained, according to Turkey's BGN News. The Italian Coast Guard received a tip-off from Turkish authorities that there were drugs aboard the vessel Meryam, which was sailing from a Moroccan port. Troops intercepted and boarded the ship in the Strait of Siciliy, which separates Italy from Tunisia. Maritime Executive reports that the ship and crew are being held at the Sicilian port of Palermo.

Morocco-Libya hashish pipeline?

Posted on June 12th, 2014 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

North AfricaMoroccan police have announced the seizure of nearly 30 tons of hashish in Casablanca, one of the largest hauls in the top cannabis-exporting country in years. According to the official MAP news agency, police raided a warehouse in the port city June 7, seizing 12 tons of chira, after the discovery a day earlier of 16.7 tons hidden inside a shipping container at the port, thought to be part of the same consignment.  The container was apparently bound for Libya. Police arrested two men, including one said to be the leader of the smuggling ring. Judicial police chief Abdelhak Khayyam said an investigation has been launched into "a large-scale trafficking operation, sending the drug to an Arab country via Casablanca port."

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