Jumblat Calls Anew for Legalization of Hashishإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat reiterated on Wednesday calls for the legalization of hashish in Lebanon as the theory of alternative crops failed.
“I hold onto my opinion on the necessity of legalizing the cultivation of hashish,” Jumblat said in comments published in As Safir newspaper.
He pointed out that establishing stability and security in the Bekaa valley should also touch on development projects.
The marijuana industry generated hundreds of millions of dollars during the country's 1975-1990 civil war.
Despite a law punishing drug trafficking with prison terms, villagers in the Bekaa valley in the east have little respect for the law and clans there grow marijuana openly and process it.
The Internal Security Forces and army repeatedly cracked down on cannabis fields in Baalbek amid protests by the residents.
According to cannabis growers in Lebanon, the conflict in Syria has turned the state's attention away from the problem at home and boosted traffic with the border now less secure.
Farmers say demand has risen by more than 50 percent since 2012, the year after civil war erupted in Syria, with most of Lebanon's hashish going there.
There are over 30,000 dunums of cannabis crops in the northern Bekaa and security forces have so far destroyed around 6,725 dunums.