In recent years, cannabis cultivation in the northern provinces has shrunk by about 65 per cent, from 134,000 hectares to about 47,500 hectares, according to the latest assessment by Moroccan authorities using satellite imagery.
“ During the 2018 and 2019 seasons, the public authorities continued their campaigns against the spread of this banned agriculture in the areas concerned, ” the Interior Ministry said, noting that proactive measures have led to the destruction of hundreds of hectares dedicated to the cultivation of ‘hashish’.
The state’s approach to fighting cannabis cultivation in the north depends on providing developmental alternatives. According to the Ministry of Interior’s 2019 achievements report, the areas that cultivate hashish have benefited from a number of initiatives that fall within the context of the Green Plan, the National Initiative for Human Development, and other development programs at the local level.
The official report added that “the state is working hard to find new outlets and alternatives for development in these areas as a strategic and realistic option to eradicate this agriculture,” adding that the approach of public authorities aims to “help the population to gradually eliminate the total dependence on the incomes of cannabis cultivation and establish a participatory perspective to combat it” And protect farmers from all bargains of criminal networks active in this area. “
According to data from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Morocco, along with Afghanistan, remains the main source of shira to world markets.
The people of the region in the countryside and the north refuse to give up the cultivation of cannabis, but in recent years their income from this cultivation has declined because of the Moroccan authorities tightening the noose on international smuggling networks.
The PAM and PMI advocate the legalization of cannabis cultivation for medical purposes, like many countries, such as Canada, the Netherlands and the United States of America.
However, the report by the Ministry of Interior stressed that “the rising global demand for cannabis, and the increasing trend towards licensing it in a number of countries, in contravention of existing international agreements, geo-strategic constraints undermine Morocco’s efforts in this area.”
Drugs and hallucinogenic pills
Despite efforts, international drug trafficking by sea is the best choice for international networks specialized in this field, as it exploits the length of the Moroccan coast to carry out its operations in new ways and methods, the Interior Ministry report said.
Morocco, according to the same source, is increasingly facing networks specialized in international cocaine smuggling. “The smuggling of cocaine from South American countries to many African countries has reached alarming levels and reaffirms the extent to which these networks can impose new ways of taking Africa as a key crossing point. Kind of smuggling. “
The report revealed that cocaine smuggling through Morocco is either by air using commercial flights, or by sea across the Atlantic Ocean and then to different destinations.
Figures in the Ministry of Interior’s 2019 achievements show that last year more than a ton of cocaine was seized in a single operation, leading to the dismantling of a large international drug trafficking network with links in Europe and Latin America. In 2019, more than 800 kilograms of cocaine were seized in one operation.
The Ministry of Interior warned of the growing consumption of hallucinogenic pills, and the risks to health, security and social stability, especially among young people.
The report revealed that in recent years, new types of grains belonging to the category of “amphetamines”, especially Ecstasy pills, which are smuggled from Western European countries, are beginning to emerge. Some unaccompanied baggage carried by international agencies for the transport of passengers or goods or hidden inside light vehicles.