Feb 152012
 February 15, 2012

tunisia cannabisTunisian Citizens Using Facebook To Organize Marijuana Reform Events

I love how social media is being used to assist revolutions around the world. The marijuana revolution is no different. Our marijuana activist friends in Tunisia are using Facebook to organize, please see below:

Excerpts from AllAfrica.Com:

A Tunisian Facebook page calling for a protest to legalize marijuana in the country has garnered almost 4,000 potential attendees. It seeks to resuscitate an issue previously off-limits during the former regime of Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali.

“All united to pass a marijuana legislation,” is a Facebook page that advocates for decriminalizing the use of cannabis- or ‘zatla’ in Tunisian dialect – in the country. The page calls upon all those who share its cause to gather Saturday, February 18th, in front of the headquarters of the National Constituent Assembly (NCA) in Bardo, Tunis.

The demonstration aims at pressuring the NCA, Tunisia’s legislative body in charge of drafting the country’s new constitution, to legalize the use of cannabis.

The organizers of the event argue that Tunisia’s anti-cannabis laws are unnecessarily stringent, and without precedent elsewhere in the world. In Tunisia, if an individual’s blood is tested positive for smoking cannabis, the person will be automatically subject to a minimum sentence of one year in jail and a 1000 dinar fine – or as they say in Tunisia “One year and a Vespa” (in reference to a year in prison and a fine equivalent to the price of a Vespa motorcycle).

@zatla404, one of the most famous virtual advocates for the legalization of cannabis in Tunisia, published a letter on his blog addressed to the members of the Constituent Assembly in which he described the prohibition of cannabis as “unconstitutional, inefficient, and corrupt.”

Slim Amamou, a renowned Tunisian blogger and the former Minister of Youth and Sports, announced in an aired interview that he personally supports decriminalizing the use of soft drugs, including cannabis.

However, before “Legalize it” can tackle the issue of cannabis legalization, the movement may first have to devise a way to legalize its demonstration on Saturday. In Tunisia, demonstrators must receive authorization from the Ministry of the Interior before organizing a protest. According to Hichem Meddeb, spokesman of the Ministry of the Interior, as of February 14th no official application has been received for the event. Meddeb reiterated that protesting without informing the ministry beforehand is illegal.

An excerpt from TheNextWeb.Com:

Through a Facebook event with almost 5,000 confirmed attendees, the campaign is also going offline in its attempt to have marijuana legalized in the North African country. The event is inviting Tunisian Facebook users to a protest in front of the Parliament headquarters this Saturday, calling for an end to the law banning marijuana.

An excerpt from GlobalVoiceOnline.Org:

On Twitter, users also shared their opinions about the legalization of weed. @BoukornineBlog tweeted [fr]:

@BoukornineBlog: C’est tout de même insensé d’interdire la fumette dans un pays qui part en fumée. #LegalizeIt #QuelGachpit fb.me/1JEUBEuJ2

@BoukornineBlog: It’s insane to ban weed (smoke) in a troubled country that is going up in flames (smoke).

Another video was uploaded on YouTube not so long ago to condemn this legal punishment. The video, in Arabic and French, has so far been viewed more than 7,300 times:

In the video, uploaded by bassethkimi, the person being interviewed argues that marijuana has no proven negative effects on its consumer. He also argues that the legal punishment is too harsh for young Tunisians who often want to try joints but then find themselves incarcerated for one year or longer.

The video introduction reads [ar]:

????? ????? ???? ??? ??? ??? ? ???? ? ?????? ??????? ? ???? ?????? ?????? ? ?????? ????????? ???????? ? ????? ????????. ??? ???? ??????? ???? ?????? ???????? ??? ????? 18 ????? 2012
A Tunisian citizen revolts against general law, the conducting of testing and exposes bribery and corruption which continues in courts and at the Interior Ministry. This is a call to demonstrate in front of parliament on Saturday, February 18.

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About Johnny Green

Johnny Green is a marijuana activist from Oregon. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Public Policy. Follow Johnny Green on Facebook and Twitter. Also, feel free to email any concerns.
  • Banihilal

    Gelo 3am wa Vispa