Legalize Cannabis

Legalize Cannabis

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Cannabis is a very controversial plant, and through history, the way that people see this plant has changed depending on the different cultures. Sometimes, it has been used as a medicine, and other times condemned as a slow suicide. In the modern era, the controversy attained its highest level; a lot of developed countries are thinking about the rehabilitation of cannabis. This rehabilitation process is based on scientific research that showed that cannabis is harmless and can be used as a medicine for a lot of diseases. However, by continuously fighting its production the producer countries that are mostly third world countries, such as Morocco and Afghanistan, are acting as if they weren't aware that cannabis production and exportation could be the solution for the problems faced by their economy. Consequently the only ones who profits from cannabis trade in these countries are criminal organizations. Taking this into consideration, we can state that Morocco would greatly benefit from the legalization of cannabis; especially the North of the country; because cannabis is one of the few plants that can grow in the Rif mountains, and that assures a high income. However, because it is illegal, the only one who profit from it are the Mafias (criminal organizations) that take it from the peasants for a ridiculous price. But if it was legal, the peasants would have sold it themselves for a better price.

First of all, I will try to clarify some points about cannabis history, and then I will talk about its effects on the body. Cannabis was first used as a medicine in the sixteenth century BC by the Egyptians, and was cultivated in China. But its use as a recreational drug in Europe didn't start until the nineteenth century. It was very popular among artists and intellectuals. In Morocco, scientific research showed that some cannabis plantations in Ketama were dating from the Sixteenth century. Also, in 1890 the Sultan Hassan 1st authorized the Ketama and Beni Khaled tribes to cultivate cannabis. Cannabis will not be illegal until 1932, only in the area under French protectorate. For the effects of cannabis, it is well known that they are caused by THC, a hallucinogen. These effects are either mental or physical. The physical effects depends on your mood, it increases whatever mood you are in. So if you are happy you will get happier and if you are sad you will get worse.

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Physically, you may feel that you're movements are awkward. But there are some bad effects, such as occasional panic attacks, memory losses, and psychological dependence. However, physical dependence is unproved.

Another point is that cannabis has a lot of medical uses. It can be used in the treatment of a lot of illnesses. It most important use is in eliminating the side effects of chemotherapy, one the most important cancer treatment. These side effects were mainly profound nausea and vomiting that lasted for weeks after the treatment. These nauseas and vomiting were so violent that the patients couldn't eat or even sustain the sight of food. These symptoms caused patients to lose the will to live and stop the treatment. Cannabis is also to help people suffering from AIDS. The fact that cannabis makes you hungry and increases the flavor of food is used to fight the loss of weight faced by people suffering from AIDS. Cannabis can be used as a treatment for a lot of other medical diseases, such as epilepsy, insomnia, migraine, schizophrenia... etc.

Cannabis legislation differs from one country to another. In Netherlands, from 1976, the laws make a distinction between cannabis and other drugs. In America also a commission of experts was appointed in 1972 by President Nixon to study the effects of cannabis; this commission called for the legalization of cannabis, but this recommendation was ignored by the government. The main argument for its legalization in Netherlands was that if you allowed people to buy cannabis legally, they won't be pushed toward hard drugs. Because if all drugs are left illegal, it is sure that the dealers will push people to buy hard drugs, while legal sellers wouldn't. Switzerland did nearly the same thing as Netherlands. The only difference is that when you want to buy cannabis, you need to give them a certificate showing that you are living in Switzerland. This was done to prevent "drugs tourism." In Morocco, cannabis is mainly cultivated in the north of the country, especially in Ketama. It is well known that with 100.000 tons of cannabis produced per year, Morocco is the first producer of cannabis in the world. Also, the APDN (agence pour le development du nord) estimate the superficies used in growing cannabis to 75.000 Ha, and it is the only source of revenue for more than 300.000 families. The government, to decrease these numbers, tried to make the peasants grow something else. But these efforts were fruitless, because cannabis income is higher than all other plants, and other plants income is insufficient for these families to survive.

Therefore, we can see that legalizing cannabis would be more appropriate for Morocco than in any other country. Keeping cannabis illegal would be hypocrisy and a contradiction. Because scientific research have showed that cannabis side effects are less than those of alcohol or tobacco, and these drugs are legal. Another argument is that cannabis overall income is of 2 Billion dollars per year, which is more than phosphates. And if it was legal, the government would be able to export it to foreign countries where it is legal, which help our economy by providing a source of hard currency.

However some people think that cannabis should stay illegal. These people claim that smoking cannabis is immoral. Even if it is true that cannabis is forbidden by religion, a lot of other things condemned by religion, such as alcohol and gambling are legal in our country because their provide a resource for our economy. So why wouldn't we apply that to cannabis, which will bring more money to help our economy? Others claim that legalizing cannabis will increase criminality, but in fact legalization will make cannabis under the control of the government, and therefore criminal organizations will loose one of their greatest resources. Other people are opposed to legalization because of some false preconceived ideas about cannabis. They say that cannabis is more addictive than tobacco, but in fact physical addiction of cannabis has never been proved. Others think that cannabis can cause fatal overdoses, in fact nobody have ever died from a cannabis overdose. They also consider that smoking cannabis is a habit imported from Europe. Even if this is true, Cannabis was always a part of the Moroccan culture, and in fact it began to be smoked only since the 16th century with the importation of tobacco from the new world. However it was used before the appearance of Islam as a medicine and as an eaten recreational drug.

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