Morocco Drug Addiction
Morocco’s extremely long history of cannabis use provides the cultural background for its current role as one of the world’s largest producers of hashish. The cultivation and use of cannabis first spread to Morocco from the Ottoman Empire in the 1500s. And accordingly, the production and trade of illicit drugs are firmly entrenched in Morocco. Thousands of acres of farmlands in the northern part of the country are devoted to the cannabis crop, and an estimated 100,000 citizens are employed by this industry.
Law enforcement officials across Europe and Northern Africa turn up trafficking rings that connect Morocco with Spain, France, Bulgaria and other countries. In July 2010, Spanish authorities made a sweep of members of an international drug-trafficking network that smuggled cannabis from Morocco to Europe. More than 60 traffickers were arrested, and 20 metric tons of drugs were seized. “The organization had a massive infrastructure in Morocco,” the Spanish interior minister stated after the sweep.
In just one seizure in the port of Casablanca in April, authorities took 34 metric tons of hashish off the illicit drug market in Europe. And in January, an indictment charged 30 members of the Royal Navy, 19 members of the Royal Gendarmie and several others with involvement in the drug trade and corruption.
In 2003, nearly a third of the countries in which cannabis resin was seized attributed their cannabis supplies to a Moroccan source. By 2009, this number had dropped to 21 percent, perhaps meaning that Morocco was becoming a less important source of cannabis.
Hashish is Not the Only Problematic Drug Coming Out of Morocco
Morocco is not only a major supplier of cannabis products for Europe, it also forms part of the cocaine conduit from South American through Africa and into Europe. In 2008, 11 percent of those trafficking cocaine into Italy were Moroccans, constituting the top nationality of foreign traffickers in the country. Moroccans have been heavily involved in trafficking drugs in France and Germany as well. Understandably, more Moroccans have problems with cannabis than any other drug.
Amphetamines are seldom seen in Morocco and cocaine addiction is rare, despite the fact that Morocco is a channel for the movement of cocaine from Western Africa into Europe by way of Spain. Once cocaine reaches Morocco, it’s just an hour’s powerboat ride to arrive in Spain. Powerboats may move South American cocaine north or Morocco’s own cannabis crop. In August 2010, the seizure of two such powerboats yielded 2.7 tons of cannabis resin.
The Moroccan government notes that addiction is a growing problem in their country, but does not currently have a system in place to measure the levels of abuse and addiction. They did recently open a drug treatment facility in Casablanca and the Ministry of Health has begun to instruct school children on the dangers of drug use.
The Narconon Drug Education Program and Drug Rehabilitation Programs Help People in Need
There are people in need of drug addiction treatment all around the world. Those addicted need a safe space with an effective program to bring them back to their former drug-free lives - with the ability to make drug-free decisions for the rest of their lives. Some forty Narconon centers around the world offer one or both of these services to their areas so that more people can live with more hope of drug-free lives.