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November 19, 2008

Morocco anti-drug effort sees drastic decrease in cannabis cultivation

The Moroccan Ministry of the Interior has said that the cultivation of cannabis in the north of the country has slumped by some 55% from 134,000 hectares in 2003 to 60,000 hectares this year. An official statement said the Ministry expected to see the area under cultivation of the drug to slump to less than 50,000 hectares in 2009.

"Since the implementation of the national strategy of the fight against drugs, the Moroccan authorities have adopted an energetic policy aimed at gradually redu c ing cannabis cultivation and fight against drug trafficking," an official statement of the Interior ministry indicated.

During this year, the Moroccan security services seized 88 tons of cannabis.

Last year, Moroccan customs officers seized a record 35 tons of cannabis, up 25.7% on the 2006 figures. The value of seized drug was about 140 million Euros.

Cultivated since 15th century in the central Rif, cannabis farming has extended during the last 20 years up to the Atlantic coast in north-western Morocco.

The global production of the narcotic plant in 2003 was valuated at 47,400 tons with about 800,000 Moroccans living partially of the illicit drug.

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