Erdoğan says Turkey will restart cannabis production

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Turkish President and leader of Turkey's ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks during his party's parliamentary group meeting at the Grand National Assembly of Turkey in Ankara, Turkey on October 23, 2018. AFP PHOTOS

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced on Wednesday that Turkey would restart the production of cannabis after claiming that Turkey’s enemies took away the ability to cultivate the plant.

In an address at his palace in Ankara, Erdoğan brought up the beneficial uses of cannabis and went on to say that Turkey had years ago eliminated cultivation of the plant.

“We are now importing cannabis. The Ministry of Food and Agriculture is taking steps to restart its cultivation,” he said.

Turkey in September 2016 legalized cannabis production in 19 provinces in order to crack down on illegal production, according to regulations that would allow highly controlled and ministry-sanctioned cannabis production in the selected provinces for medical and scientific purposes.

According to Erdoğan, foes who are seemingly friends took away Turkey’s ability to produce cannabis, in reference to US pressure to ban opium poppy production in 1971.

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