House of Representatives Adopts Two Bills on Legal Uses of Cannabis, Fight against Money Laundering

MAP - Publié le Vendredi 28 Mai 2021 à 11:51

Rabat - The House of Representatives adopted, on Wednesday, two bills relating to the legal uses of cannabis and the fight against money laundering. The legislative institution approved, by majority, a bill on the legal uses of cannabis, a press release from the House said, adding that the other bill relating to the fight against money laundering has been adopted unanimously at a second reading. The adoption of these two texts took place at a meeting chaired by Habib El Malki, speaker of the House, in the presence of the Interior Minister Abdelouafi Laftit and Justice Minister Mohamed Benabdelkader, the same source said.

Presenting Bill N° 13.21 relating to the legal uses of cannabis, Laftit said that this text comes in accordance with the changes experienced by the global drug control system, noting that Morocco has always respected the international agreements in this area and has put in place a compliant legal arsenal. The minister said that scientific research has demonstrated the possibility of a safe use of drugs such as Indian hemp in various fields, and that the United Nations adopted in December 2020 the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO), which no longer considers Indian hemp as a "dangerous product with no therapeutic value".

He also highlighted the unprecedented enthusiasm of countries around the world to develop cannabis cultivation and benefit from the revenues of the commercialization of its legal products, noting that the Ministry had conducted feasibility studies on the development of the cannabis plant on a national scale for medical, cosmetic and industrial purposes, which have demonstrated promising opportunities at the economic and social levels. As part of the general discussion, the representatives of the parliamentary groups and grouping gave speeches, underlined the press release, noting that the majority of them expressed their appreciation for this project, calling for its implementation as soon as possible.

All the deputies also agreed on the importance of introducing development in areas where cannabis is cultivated, of finding solutions for farmers, of breaking with many approaches that have shown their limits and of creating economic and social development in these regions. The House of Representatives adopted Bill N° 12.18 amending and completing the Penal Code and Law N° 43.05 relating to the fight against money laundering, which aims to monitor and seize illegal funds. It also seeks to adapt national legislation with international standards adopted in this area by the Financial Action Task Force, in addition to remedying the shortcomings identified in the current legislation. With the adoption by the House of Representatives of this bill, it will be enforced after its publication in the Official Bulletin. However, the provisions of the first paragraph of Article 38 relating to the competence of certain jurisdictions in money laundering matters will only apply after the publication of the said regulatory text in the same article.