ALGIERS- The latest report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) listed Morocco as the world’s leading country in the origin and departure of cannabis resin.
The World Drug Report 2022 published by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), cites Morocco as the first African country in terms of cannabis cultivation during the decade 2010-2020, while specifying that cannabis resin trafficking operations are active from Morocco to Spain and from Afghanistan to other West Asian countries, noting that cannabis resin from Morocco is also intended for other North African countries.
According to the report, interregional cannabis trafficking goes “from Morocco to Libya and then to Egypt via the Sahel”. Moroccan cannabis resin is also transported by sea across the Mediterranean.
The data further indicate that 60% of cannabis resin seizures are concentrated in North Africa and Western Europe, where trafficking and consumption of the drug remains high.
Regarding the impact of cannabis cultivation on the environment, the Rif region in northern Morocco is also mentioned in this report, where this cultivation is mainly based on the intensive use of synthetic fertilizers. In this vein, the document warned of the dangerous impact of “intensive” illegal cannabis farming in the Rif region, which places increasing pressure on the “fragile ecological system.”
“In the Rif region where most of the country’s cannabis is grown, the increasingly intensive illegal cultivation, often monoculture, of cannabis in recent decades has led to increased environmental pressure on an already fragile ecological system under the form of deforestation, water scarcity and loss of biodiversity”, underlines the report, noting that the intensive cultivation of this drug has “transformed the region into the largest user of fertilizers and pesticides in the agricultural sector”.
With regard to the impact of cannabis legalization, the document suggests continuing to monitor this impact, particularly on public health, the rule of law, public safety and the parallel illegal market, in order to better understand the social and economic costs of this legalization, at a time when commercial interests push to expand the market for “legal” cannabis.
It should be noted that the number of people addicted to cannabis has increased by 23% over the last decade.
Regarding cocaine, the document estimates that 21.5 million people consumed this substance in 2020, representing 0.4% of the world’s population.
North America and Europe remain the two main markets for cocaine consumption and large quantities are transported from Latin America to Europe via West and North Africa.