The government of Lebanon has given an official nod to medical marijuana cultivation, a Reuters report reveals. According to the report, the Lebanese parliament stamped the decree on Tuesday, April 21, allowing the Middle East country to grow medical cannabis mainly for export.
Lebanon eyes medical marijuana as a potentially profitable export product, which it can use to augment its ailing economy. Previously, the country banned any form of cannabis cultivation. However, many people have been growing the plant openly in the country’s fertile grounds of Bekaa Valley.
Economic factors prompted legalization
According to a senior member of parliament in the Free Patriotic Movement, Alain Aoun, the decision to legalize medical marijuana cultivation was based on economic factors.
“We have moral and social reservations but today there is the need to help the economy by any means,” Aoun said.
He believes legalization would bring revenue for the government to develop the agricultural sector. Besides, it would open up the cultivation of the crop, which has been going on illegally.
More Americans support cannabis legalization
Meanwhile, a majority of Americans support state cannabis legalization laws, saying they have been a success. This is according to a new survey conducted by a government agency, YouGov. In the survey, YouGov interviewed more than 27,000 adults on what they thought about the states that have legalized cannabis for recreational purposes. The main question centered on whether the respondents “think the legislation has been a success or a failure.”
Fifty-five percent of those interviewed said regulated cannabis markets are either a complete success or more of a success than a failure. Thirteen percent of the respondents believed the markets were more of a failure than a success, while only six percent said the regulated cannabis markets were a total failure.
Currently, only 11 states in the U.S. allow cannabis sales for recreational use. According to the poll, there wasn’t notable variation in responses from the respondents drawn from different regions of the country.
However, partisan interest was at play with Democrats being the majority of those who said legalization has been successful. They scored 67 percent. Independents came second with 54 percent followed by Republicans with 41 percent.
Marijuana legalization is consistently gaining traction across the U.S. Last year, 66 percent of adult Americans supported the policy change, according to a Gallup survey report. During the COVID-19 pandemic, more adults agreed that cannabis dispensaries should remain open as providers of essential services.