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‘Puff not’ except for medicines. Morocco creates agency for cannabis regulation

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Morocco is tidying up steps to legalize the use of cannabis for medicines as the regulatory agency in charge met for the first last week.

The Interior Minister under Abdelouafi Laftit, had approved its organization chart and budget for the year 2022 for the “National Agency for the Regulation of Cannabis Activities,”

The Moroccan parliament voted in May 2021 to legalize the use of cannabis for medical, as well as cosmetic and industrial purposes. Recreational use however is still illegal. The legalization was confirmed by a second vote on June 16, 2021, after some adjustments to the law, proposed by the Chamber of Councillors.

Medical use of cannabis is becoming popular in Africa. In 2020, Rwanda permitted the production and processing of medical marijuana with an aim to maximize its profits.

In South Africa, the government is still pursuing plans to ensure that the Southern African country can maximize on the plant by turning marijuana into a viable business. In Uganda, although the government enacted one of the stringent laws to curb the use of cannabis at the same time allowed the commercialization of the product. The Ugandan government spent over $264,000 to secure high-quality cannabis seeds in 2019.

Outside Africa, the US to be precise, the use of cannabis is becoming an industry with a significant employment rate. According to the Leafly 2021 Jobs Report, legal cannabis now supports over 321,000 full-time American jobs. This is an increase of 77,300 (32%) over 2020. In an economy recovering from mandatory business closures and unemployment, cannabis employment rates continue to rise.

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Nigeria: Zamfara state government wants gun licenses for residents over insecurity

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The Commissioner for information in one of Nigeria’s Northern states, Zamfara state says residents in the state can start approaching the police command in the state for gun licences.

The troubled state wants individuals to carry guns to defend themselves against armed gangs of kidnappers causing havoc in the country’s northwest.

The commissioner, Ibrahim Magaji Dosara in statement said the state governor had directed the state police commissioner to issue 500 gun licences in each of the 19 emirates in the state to those wishing to defend themselves.

“Government is ready to facilitate people, especially our farmers to secure basic weapons for defending themselves,” Dosara said.

The state also banned the use of motorcyles and selling of petrol in three districts and one emirate, in areas which are the most affected by banditry, Dosara said. The state is divided into emirates and the emirates into districts.

“Anybody found riding motorbike within the areas is considered as bandits and security agencies are thereby directed to shoot such persons at sight,” said Dosara.

Gunmen, locally called bandits, have been attacking and killing thousands of people in the country’s North-west since 2017. These assailants have attacked rural dwellers, destroyed their farmlands and in many cases only allow them to the farm after they have paid protection fees. They have also targeted travellers across the region in what some analysts say is one of the most lucrative kidnap-for-ransom syndicates in the continent.

Owning a gun in Zamfara needs permission from the state governor and state police commissioner.

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Ex-Liberian rebel warlord charged in US over attempt to obtain citizenship fraudulently

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A former commanding general of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL), a notorious rebel group during the West African country’s civil war, Moses Wright, who had sought asylum in the US has been charged with fraudulently attempting to obtain US citizenship, among other crimes.

According to the United States Justice Department, the 69-year-old Wright lied about his involvement in the persecuting and killing of non-combatants during the war when he applied for US citizenship.

If convicted, Wright faces a maximum possible sentence of 165 years in prison and a $7m (£5.7m) fine, according to the JD.

“The United States will not be a safe haven for human rights violators and war criminals,” the United States Attorney, Jacqueline C. Romero, said on the indictment of Wright.

The indictment of Wright comes after two other former combatants in Liberia’s civil war, Mohammed Jabbateh and Thomas Woewiyu, were convicted in the US for similar offences while a third rebel leader, Sekou Kamara, was arrested earlier this year in New York.

The AFL was responsible for death of an estimated 250,000 Liberians which amounted to around 8% of the population at the time, in the war which started from 1989 to 1997 and in 1999 to 2003, according to a report by the Liberia’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission in late 2021, which described the AFL as a “significant violator group found to be behind some of the civil war’s largest scale massacres.”

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