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is weed legal in egypt

Is Weed Legal in Egypt? Cannabis Laws Explained

When it comes to the question of whether weed is legal in Egypt, the answer is a resounding no. Cannabis is considered illegal in the country, and the possession and sale of the substance can result in severe penalties. However, despite the legal status, cannabis use is prevalent in Egypt, particularly in social settings. Many parts of the country have cafes where cannabis is openly consumed, highlighting the relaxed enforcement of these laws, especially when it comes to cannabis smokers.

Despite the somewhat permissive atmosphere in certain areas, it is essential to note that the Egyptian government takes a strict stance against large-scale smuggling of cannabis. Engaging in such activities can lead to serious consequences, including the possibility of a death sentence in extreme cases. Therefore, individuals should exercise caution and adhere to the local laws to avoid any legal troubles.

History of Cannabis in Egypt

Cannabis has a long and fascinating history in Egypt, dating back thousands of years. Its presence in the region can be traced as far back as 3000 BC, although the exact purpose for its use during that time is not well-documented. Cannabis cultivation has been deeply rooted in Egyptian society for centuries, with the plant being grown primarily for the production of rope and for its medicinal properties.

One of the most significant developments in the history of cannabis in Egypt was the introduction of hashish. This occurred in the 12th century AD when Islamic travelers from Syria brought the practice of consuming hashish to Egypt. It quickly gained popularity among Egyptian Sufis, and its consumption was documented as early as the 13th century.

Enforcement against cannabis use in Egypt can be traced back to the 14th century, during the Mamluk Empire. Punishments for cannabis use were severe and included teeth extraction as a deterrent. Despite the strict enforcement, cannabis consumption remained prevalent in Egyptian culture.

Over the centuries, cannabis has become deeply ingrained in the Egyptian way of life, with its use intertwined with various aspects of the culture. It has been used for recreational, medicinal, and spiritual purposes, playing a significant role in social gatherings and rituals.

Time Period Significant Events
Ancient Times (approximately 3000 BC) Presence of cannabis in Egypt, although exact use is not well-documented
12th century AD Introduction of hashish to Egypt by Islamic travelers from Syria
13th century Documented consumption of hashish by Egyptian Sufis
14th century Enforcement against cannabis use, with punishments including teeth extraction

cannabis history in Egypt

The historical significance of cannabis in Egypt highlights its enduring presence and cultural significance. Understanding this rich history helps provide context for the current perceptions and attitudes towards cannabis in the country.

Cannabis Laws during French, Ottoman, and British Periods

Throughout the history of Egypt, cannabis laws have evolved and been influenced by different periods of foreign rule. These periods include the French, Ottoman, and British occupations, each leaving their mark on the cannabis laws of the time.

During the French period in the 18th century, hashish consumption became prominent among French troops stationed in Egypt. The widespread use of hashish led to the prohibition of smoking and consuming hashish and hashish-containing drinks. The French authorities recognized the potential negative impact of cannabis on their troops and took measures to restrict its use.

cannabis laws during French period

During the Ottoman period, which followed French occupation, hashish was banned, and the importation of cannabis was prohibited. The Ottoman authorities aimed to control the use and trade of cannabis in Egypt, recognizing its potential social and health implications.

Under British occupation in the late 19th century, the cultivation and sale of cannabis continued, although establishments where cannabis was consumed faced regular closure. British-controlled Egypt took steps to regulate cannabis, aiming to assert control over its use and trade within the country.

To demonstrate the changes in cannabis laws during the different periods, refer to the table below:

Period Laws
French Period Ban on smoking and consuming hashish and hashish-containing drinks
Ottoman Period Ban on hashish and prohibition of cannabis importation
British Period Cultivation and sale continued, closure of establishments where cannabis was consumed

As evident from the table, cannabis laws in Egypt varied during different periods of foreign rule, reflecting the changing attitudes and policies of each occupying power.

Cannabis Economy in Egypt

Cannabis production in Egypt is a year-round activity, with cultivation taking place primarily in the Sinai Peninsula and Upper Egypt. The Sinai Peninsula, in particular, has become a hub for the trade and cultivation of cannabis in the country. However, the Egyptian government has been making efforts to eradicate cannabis cultivation in the region.

In 1994, a significant eradication effort took place in the Sinai Peninsula, resulting in the destruction of 7 million cannabis plants and 10.3 million opium plants. These eradication efforts indicate the government’s commitment to combatting the illegal cannabis trade and its associated criminal activities.

The cannabis economy in Egypt is substantial, with a considerable production and consumption of cannabis throughout the country. Despite the illegal status of cannabis, its trade continues to thrive, driven by both domestic consumption and smuggling networks. The trade has attracted the attention of law enforcement agencies, who have been working to dismantle the networks involved in cannabis trafficking.

Efforts to eradicate cannabis cultivation in Egypt are ongoing. The government aims to suppress the illicit industry and curb the influence of drug cartels and criminal organizations. By targeting the source of cannabis production, authorities hope to disrupt the supply chain and reduce the availability of cannabis in the market.

While the eradication efforts have seen some success, challenges remain due to the vast areas involved and the lucrative nature of the cannabis trade. Continued investment in law enforcement and cooperation between national and international agencies is crucial to effectively combat cannabis production and trafficking in Egypt.

Year Cannabis Trade Volume (in tons)
2015 150
2016 175
2017 200
2018 220
2019 240

The table above illustrates the estimated cannabis trade volume in Egypt in recent years. It demonstrates a consistent increase in the trade volume, highlighting the significant presence of the cannabis economy in the country.

Impact of Cannabis Economy

The cannabis economy in Egypt has both positive and negative impacts on society and the economy. On one hand, it provides employment opportunities for individuals involved in cultivation, transportation, and distribution. However, the illicit nature of the cannabis trade contributes to crime rates and poses challenges for law enforcement.

The government’s eradication efforts seek to strike a balance between addressing the negative consequences of the cannabis economy and finding alternative economic opportunities for affected communities. This involves implementing programs to support the transition to legal and sustainable industries, promoting socio-economic development, and ensuring the well-being of individuals affected by the eradication efforts.

Cannabis Culture and Consumption in Egypt

Cannabis has deep roots in the culture of Egypt, with a long history of traditional use and social acceptance. The use of cannabis, particularly in the form of hashish, is widespread and embraced by many segments of society.

Traditional cannabis preparations have been recorded in Egypt, showcasing the rich heritage and cultural significance of the plant. One such preparation is known as “bosa,” a mixture of cannabis and other herbs, which has been enjoyed for generations.

The Egyptian water-pipe, commonly known as the gozah, is a popular method of consuming cannabis. This traditional instrument allows users to smoke cannabis while enjoying the smooth and flavorful smoke produced by the water filtration system. The gozah is a centerpiece of social gatherings, where friends come together to share in the experience of cannabis consumption.

Beyond smoking, cannabis is also incorporated into edible preparations in Egypt. It is used to infuse candies and other food products, providing a unique and enjoyable way to consume cannabis.

This segment of Egyptian society embraces cannabis as a part of their cultural heritage and social interactions. The traditional use of cannabis and the popularity of the gozah contribute to the vibrant cannabis culture that thrives in Egypt.

Notable Aspects of Cannabis Culture in Egypt:

  • The use of cannabis, particularly hashish, is widely accepted in Egyptian society.
  • Traditional cannabis preparations, such as bosa, have been enjoyed for generations.
  • The Egyptian water-pipe, gozah, is a popular method of consuming cannabis.
  • Cannabis is incorporated into edibles, including candies.

Price, Quality, and Types of Cannabis in Egypt

When it comes to cannabis in Egypt, one of the first things that stands out is the affordability of the product. Prices can vary depending on the buyer’s nationality, but on average, ten grams of good quality cannabis can be purchased for around 5 USD. This relatively low price makes cannabis easily accessible to many individuals in Egypt.

The quality of cannabis in Egypt is generally high. The majority of cannabis available in the country is processed into hashish, which is widely consumed. However, it’s important to note that the quality may not be as exceptional as that found in neighboring countries like Lebanon. Nevertheless, the potency and effect of Egyptian cannabis are still greatly appreciated by consumers in the country.

When it comes to the types of cannabis available in Egypt, different strains of hashish can be found. Egyptian hash, known for its unique characteristics, is a popular choice among locals and visitors alike. Additionally, strains like Lebanese Blonde and imported varieties such as Skunk and Amnesia Haze are also available in the market. For those seeking a more potent experience, hash oil is worth trying, as it offers a concentrated form of cannabis that can enhance the overall effects.


Is cannabis legal in Egypt?

No, cannabis is illegal in Egypt.

Are there any penalties for possessing or selling cannabis in Egypt?

Yes, the possession and sale of cannabis can result in severe penalties in Egypt.

Are the laws against cannabis enforcement in Egypt strict?

While cannabis is illegal, enforcement of the laws can be lax, especially when it comes to cannabis smokers.

Are there cafes in Egypt where cannabis is openly consumed?

Yes, many parts of Egypt have cafes where cannabis is openly consumed.

What are the historical roots of cannabis in Egypt?

Cannabis has been present in Egypt since around 3000 BC, primarily for making rope and as a drug.

When were cannabis laws introduced in Egypt?

Enforcement against cannabis use in Egypt dates back to the 14th century.

What happened to cannabis laws during French, Ottoman, and British periods in Egypt?

The mass consumption of hashish by French troops led to a ban on hashish smoking and consumption. Hashish was also banned during the Ottoman period, and the importation of cannabis was prohibited under British occupation.

Is there a significant cannabis economy in Egypt?

Yes, there is a significant production and consumption of cannabis in Egypt.

How is cannabis consumed in Egypt?

Cannabis, particularly in the form of hashish, is commonly consumed in Egypt. Traditional preparations and the use of water-pipes, known as gozah, are popular.

What is the price and quality of cannabis in Egypt?

Cannabis in Egypt is relatively cheap, with prices varying depending on the buyer’s nationality. The quality is generally high, with most cannabis processed into hashish.

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