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946 kg of cannabis seized in southeastern Morocco – Officials to arrest all suspects linked with criminal drug trafficking network

cannabis seized in southeastern Morocco

Moroccon police said that they have seized about 946kg of cannabis in the southeastern city of Errachidia. Four individuals aged between 25 and 38, are suspected of links to a criminal drug trafficking network and were arrested. In addition to this, two vehicles were also seized. 

The operation took place on Saturday at a checkpoint on the road linking Boudnib to Errachidia. The arrested suspects were remanded in custody to complete the probe, while investigators are further delving into the issue to arrest all the suspects involved in this drug trafficking ring. 

Despite numerous efforts to seize cannabis cultivation during the last decade, Morocco still remains one of the worlds largest produces of these narcotic plants, according to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime.

Back in 2019, Moroccan security agencies had seized a total of 179,657 kg of cannabis, the Moroccan police revealed in its annual report on December 25. 

The stigma around cannabis is slowly evaporating, especially after the U.S. federal government legalized hemp, cannabis Sativa plant. They removed hemp from the list of controlled substances making it a normal agricultural crop for producers. Hemp is widely touted for its compounds like CBD or cannabidiol. 

CBD is an anti-inflammatory and non-psychoactive chemical which is known to relieve stress, insomnia, depression, chronic pain, muscle spasms, and much more. It is also widely popular amongst patients who suffer from life-threatening ailments such as epilepsy, Tourette’s, Alzheimer’s and cancer. 

Research suggests that CBD is a potent drug and has high medicinal value. However, its long term effects and reaction with other drugs is still unknown. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has strictly warned companies to not promote their CBD products as medicinal drugs or an alternative to pharmaceutical drugs. 

Since the legalization of hemp, companies have been hopping on the CBD bandwagon. Many are legit, while others are producing illicit CBD products with a high concentration of THC, the psychoactive chemical found in marijuana. THC, or tetrahydro cannabinoid, is not completely legalized as it is a psychoactive chemical which causes euphoria like feeling and hallucinations when consumed. 

It is the chemical responsible for the “high” when people smoke weed. According to federal regulations, the maximum limit of THC is 0.03% per dry weight. Since there hasn’t been a proper regulatory mandate in place to check CBD products, many illicit brands have come up posing as legit names and selling illegal products to consumers. 

Recently, a dozen children collapsed after vaping cannabis oil laced with Spice, a dangerous drug. Spice is deadly in nature, and it was only after children collapsed that investigators looked for sources. 

The illicit market for CBD has grown multifold over the past two years. From CBD gummies to topicals, creams, isolate, vape pens, tinctures, and whatnot, CBD is readily available throughout the consumer market. People can buy products from online websites and even go around the corner to a brick and mortar shop for purchasing CBD oil. 

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One of the major reasons for this growing black market of CBD and cannabis is the high prices of legit products. Companies use heavy machinery to obtain premium-grade hemp oil and other cannabis-based products, which leads to an increase in the price of the end product. This paves a way for illicit companies to offer lower-priced products that often contain harmful chemicals or have no CBD at all. 

The U.S. FDA has recently issued warning letters to 15 companies for illegally selling CBD products. Some of them were advertising their products with medicinal claims while other products did not contain CBD in the same concentration as mentioned on their label. The agency has also warned consumers to be aware of such brands that offer lower-priced products or show their CBD products as an alternative to pharmaceutical drugs. 

Consumers are recommended to buy only from legitimate stores and brands as a higher concentration of THC or other harmful chemicals can result in a positive drug test. They can also drastically impact the health of individuals and trigger seizures or cause permanent disorders in them. 

Ivan writes about Cannabis at The Cannabis Radar. He has a degree in Nutrition Sciences from University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Centre. He likes to spend his spare time reading to his daughter or spending time with his wife.

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