The adoption in Morocco of Bill 13.21 on the legalisation of cannabis for therapeutic use has been postponed to a later meeting. This is the second postponement after last week’s one. Will Morocco abandon the legalisation of cannabis under Algerian pressure? At least that is the question that is being asked.
In Morocco, the adoption of bill 13.21 on the legalisation of cannabis for therapeutic use has been postponed to a later meeting, the presidency of the government said in a statement on Thursday. This is the second postponement recorded after that of last week. Unlike the previous meeting of the government council on 25 February, Thursday’s meeting did not even continue to examine the text prepared by the interior ministry.
This new postponement comes at a time when anger within the PJD ranks has risen a notch against the approval of the bill just a few months before the legislative elections. The threats made by Adelilah Benkirane to leave the party if the Islamist deputies vote in favour of legalisation, further complicates the task of the Prime Minister, Eddine El Othmani, and reduces his room for manoeuvre.
The president of the Unity and Reform Movement, the main supporter of Saad-Eddine El Othmani, pleaded for « patience » when the text was adopted. He was also advised before the approval of the draft law to seek the advice of the Economic, Social and Environmental Council, the National Council for Human Rights and the Higher Council of Ulemas. The latter is chaired by King Mohammed VI in his capacity as Commander of the Faithful. A lifebuoy launched towards his « brother » El Othmani.
It should also be noted that Algeria accuses the Moroccan government of « covering its economic deficit due to the health crisis and the second war in Western Sahara, with the legalization of drugs ». It attributes the Moroccan decision to the « economic and social crisis aggravated by the pandemic of the new Coronavirus and the closure of the Algerian-Moroccan borders », in addition to the « war raging » between the Polisario Front and Morocco.