AFP Photo / Abdelhak Senna

In the latest move in Morocco’s long-standing debate over its production of cannabis, two political parties have submitted draft laws legalizing the plant’s cultivation for “therapeutic and industrial” purposes. The Istiqlal Party and the Authenticity and Modernity Party (PAM) have proposed laws that would allow the production of cannabis in five northern, Moroccan provinces: Al Hoceima, Chefchaouen, Ouazzane,Tetouan and Taounate. The draft laws also support the creation of a regulatory agency that would have exclusive rights to sell cannabis.

Although cannabis production has been illegal for most of Morocco’s modern history, the current government has been largely tolerant out of economic necessity. Since 2009, representatives from PAM have called for cannabis’ legalization. The party organized a parliamentary hearing in late 2013 to examine the benefits of legalization and the legal and security mechanisms that would accompany such a move.

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