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Egypt to Legalise Hash To Balance Budget?

Spreading like wildfire across the news this morning is a statement by the Chairman of Cigarette Dealers Association, suggesting the legalisation of hash in Egypt...

Egyptians are finally waking up to the realisation that Egypt would benefit from the legalisation of the use and trade of hash. Spreading virally online this morning is a statement made by the Chairman of the Cigarette Dealers Association in Cairo and Giza, Osama Salama, who believes that the legalisation would be a fast and effective way to reduce the state budget deficit within a few years.

According to Al-Masry Al Youm, Salama claims, “The government spends LE 1 billion every year to fight it, only managing to uncover around 15 percent of the total traded amount.” Furthermore the illegal trading of hashish amounts to LE 42 billion annually, constituting 2.5% of the national income.

Salama suggests a 10% tax on hash that will increase to 50% percent over 10 years. As it stands there are several scientific reports that provide evidence that there are health benefits associated with marijuana and its concentrated derivative hash, which is often used as a form of treatment for cancer patients struggling with chemotherapy. At the same time countries who have legalised marijuana have generated millions in state revenue, and if Egypt followed suit it would be able to combat the hash market monopoly held by countries like Afghanistan, Morocco, and Lebanon. 


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