Rabat – Algeria is using the recent debate on Morocco’s potential legalization of cannabis for therapeutic use to attack Rabat.
Algerian media are heavily reporting on the bill, including Rabat’s internal affair in their hostile campaign against Morocco.
Radio Algerienne published recently a hostile article attacking Morocco and accusing it of attempting to cover up the economic crisis with the cannabis bill.
The radio claimed that Morocco’s cannabis legalization debate is an attempt by the Moroccan political class to distract public attention away from the country’s profound political and socio-economic crises.
“The government has found no way out, apart from adopting a business that it sees to legalize to silence the voices demanding to live in dignity,” the radio reported.
Radio Algerienne also accused Morocco of being the first supplier of cannabis to Algeria.
Morocco’s Council of Ministers discussed a draft bill on the potential legalization of cannabis therapeutic use on Thursday last week.
The government office said that more discussion on the bill will take place in the coming weeks.
The government also said it will approve the bill when discussions are completed.
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The draft bill proposes to build a legal cannabis industry by organizing cannabis farmers into “cooperatives” which in turn would sell their crop to local or international “processing” companies.
It remains to be seen whether the government will adopt the bill next week or postpone the approval process.
This is not the first time Algeria accuses Morocco of drug-related crimes.
Former Algerian foreign minister Abdelkader Messahel once accused Morocco of “laundering drug money in sub-Saharan Africa,” dismissing Rabat’s increasing assertiveness in African geopolitics.
“Moroccan banks are being used in laundering the revenues from the sales of hashish [weed]. Everybody knows that,” the former FM claimed.
Meanwhile, Algerian media have hardly ever covered the major seizures of psychotropic pills trafficked from Algeria to Morocco.
In 2017, Morocco’s General Directorate of National Security (DGSN) announced that seizures of psychotropic pills from Algeria had increased notably in recent years.
DGSN said that 808,022 psychotropic pills were confiscated in 2016, compared to 260,152 in 2015 and 293,282 in 2014.
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For years, Algeria has been launching hostile PR campaigns against Morocco, from pro-Polisario lobbying in the EU and the US to unfounded allegations about Morocco’s “mischievous” ambitions in Africa .
Most recently, the Algerian regime vehemently attacked Morocco for its decision to establish diplomatic ties with Israel.
Many Algerian officials attacked Morocco after news broke of Rabat-Tel Aviv rapprochement.
Algeria’s Minister of Communication and Spokesperson of the Government, Ammar Belhimer, publicly attacked Morocco and Israel by saying that the agreement between the two countries is a threat for the MENA region.
Algeria’s Prime Minister Abdelaziz Djerad agreed. Commenting on the Morocco-Israel agreement, Djerad said in December: “The Zionist entity has arrived.”
Nasser Boukadoum, Algeria’s Foreign Affairs Minister also viciously attacked Morocco for supposedly agreeing to a relationship aimed at colonizing the MENA in general and Algeria in particular. Algeria has never been “shaken by colonialism and will not be shaken by zionists and whoever allies with them,” he said.
Amid internal crisis and heavy criticism from the international community, Algeria continues to report on Morocco and its internal affairs.