Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblatt  said Thursday he supported the cultivation of cannabis for medical purposes.
“Never in my life have I smoked marijuana, but I support growing cannabis for medical use and to improve the living conditions of farmers in north Lebanon and the Bekaa Valley,” Jumblatt  told Al-Jadeed TV.
Jumblatt argued that crop substitution programs have all failed and forced farmers in north Lebanon and the Bekaa Valley to leave their lands and head to Beirut  to make a better living.
“Let’s legalize cannabis and regulate its cultivation,” the politician said.
Once a thriving multi-billion-dollar business, cannabis cultivation was targeted by the Lebanese government in the early 1990s due to international pressure.
Crop substitution programs  devised by the Agriculture Ministry in coordination with the United Nations and other international organizations have failed to yield positive results and Lebanese farmers continue to grow the lucrative crop despite yearly crackdowns by the state.