Sitting among the vines in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley, Michel Emad, a retired soldier, remembers the not-so-distant time when he cultivated cannabis before replacing it with red and white grapes used
There has been a lot of talks in recent months about the growing phenomenon of drug and its spread in most Lebanese regions and among all classes and communities.
Figures issued by the Central Office for Drug Control in the Internal Security Forces revealed an increase in the seizure of narcotic drugs as well as the number of users and traffickers.
Indeed, those figures showed that the types and quantities of seized drugs and psychotropic substances have increased dramatically over the years 2012-2016. The quantities of cannabis seized increased from 240 kg to 7637 kg and the quantities of captagon pills rose from 464 thousand tablets to 12.8 million tablets.
The figures also revealed an increase in the number of related court cases that rose from 1940 in 2012 to 3323 in 2016. Moreover, the total number of court cases during this period reached 12407 most of which were cases of drug abuse.
The number of people arrested during this period (2012-2016) also increased from 2865 to 4709, an increase of 1,844, or 65%; furtheremore, drug users accounted for 77% of the arrested.
The figures revealed also that most of those arrested were Lebanese in 74% -84% of whom more than half used cannabis (56%), followed by cocaine (18.5%)