In the land of the pyramids is also illegal use, possession and trafficking of cannabis. Penalties range from a few months in prison and the death penalty.
In the land of the Pharaohs, like many Asian and African countries, has a long tradition in the consumption of cannabis, in addition, Egypt is one of the main producers of this substance. There are documents dating marijuana in this African country back in 2000 BC.
Legal until the last century
The Egyptian people throughout its history has made use of cannabis, both for recreational purposes and for medicinal purposes. All around marijuana was legal until early last century (except for a few years that was also forbidden to use) when in 1925 the cannabis was definitely illegal.
At present, the Egyptian drug law is quite strict. Penalties for consumption, trafficking or possession of drugs ranging from large prison sentences to the death penalty. Of all the people who are in Egyptian prisons, it is not known who met convicted of drug-related issues that the authorities of this country do not allow the public aware of the exact number of prisoners convicted of such crimes.
Holidays and cannabis
Foreign tourists also can be sentenced to death. It is known that in 2013 a British retired sailor and three crew members were sentenced to death for trying to get on his yacht three tons of cannabis. While, yes, almost all death sentences for crimes of smuggling in this country, are often converted to life imprisonment. And if the offender is a foreign person, it is possible that this is extradited, but that will depend on treaties for extradition between Egypt and other countries.
Despite the legislation, the use of cannabis is widespread in this country. In big cities or in densely populated areas (Cairo, Alexandria, Nile Delta …) are typical cafes where you can see people smoking quietly. Cannabis in Egypt is cheap and is the most chosen among its citizens to relax substance.
But in turn, consumers have to tread very carefully because the authorities are not very permissive in what consumer (and needless to say regarding the possession and trafficking of this substance) refers. However, in many forums it is said that if the police catch you with very small amounts of marijuana often make ‘blind eye’ and often remarked that it is unusual for the police to go searching to tourists as they are a source main income of the country. Still and all, as always, you have to be careful and you have to be as inconspicuous as possible to avoid any unwanted incident. And, of course, if you seized a large amount of marijuana, rest assured that they will apply the law in force in this country and, almost certainly, have a prison sentence.
From the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs will offer a set of guidelines on how to act when traveling to a foreign country, in this case to Egypt.
– There must respect the local laws and customs: Spain completely legal action may be illegal in other countries and even be subject to imprisonment.
– Especially important risks for trafficking, possession and consumption of drugs. Failure to comply with local law on drugs often leads to situations of detention, trial and imprisonment abroad.
– The Ministry is also confirmed that once arrested abroad nobody, not even the Embassy or Consulate of Spain in the country concerned may prevent the application of local law to those who transgress. If arrested and convicted, the offender will have to serve the sentence for the crime committed.
– For every 5 Spaniards imprisoned abroad, 4 they are for drug-related offenses.
– It is also important to note that in some countries do not distinguish between trafficking and consumption of drugs and that these crimes, as in the case of Egypt, can become punishable by life imprisonment or even the death penalty.
– Another advice given from this ministry is that we must not under any circumstances accept packages from an unknown as they may contain drugs or other prohibited goods. In case of conflict with border and customs, both national and foreign authorities responsible is the person who will stop the suspicious package.
– The Spanish embassy or consulate can not, in case of arrest guarantee better than that accorded to nationals treatment. However, in case of detention, yes it has the right to require local authorities to immediately contact the detainee Consul of Spain.
Moreover, we must add that Egypt is a major producer of cannabis. This plant is grown mainly in the Sinai region and production, mostly it is for domestic consumption, that is, it is not exported. This does not prevent that this country is an area of vital importance for the cannabis trade between Asia and Europe as goods of these continents (included marijuana) are often transported through Egypt.
Finally, it must say that drug use in Egypt has increased considerably in recent years, probably due to the increasingly unstable situation in the country. It has even set up a hotline that operates 24 hours a day and serving numerous calls through which it advises and provides information on any drugs, of course, cannabis included.
By Noelia Jiménez, Team Piensa En Verde