Cannabis farmers support calls to legalize lucrative crop

Once a thriving multibillion-dollar business, cannabis cultivation was targeted by the Lebanese government in the early 1990s due to international pressure
The Daily Star (Lebanon)
Wednesday, December 24, 2014

With the war in Syria stifling the economy and bringing in a flood of refugees in the Bekaa Valley, as well as the closure of smuggling roads and persistent state neglect, many of the farmers near Baalbek have turned to planting cannabis, a lucrative crop. But growing production and tighter border controls have also caused a glut of cannabis in Lebanon, driving down prices. Calls to legalize the drug are also gaining traction. The lack of development, inadequate schooling and poor health care have led local farmers to increasingly adopt hashish as a money-making crop. They also insist that growing and selling it is not morally problematic because it is less harmful than other drugs – they refuse to plant opium, for instance. (See also: Jumblatt renews calls to legalize marijuana)