Duvar English

Islamist writer Abdurrahman Dilipak has said that marijuana is not harmful and can be used a preventative measure to steer people away from more harmful drugs, in a column for the daily Akit newspaper on Jan. 23.

“You know, they say ‘the hair of the dog that bites you,’ could marijuana be a solution to save [people] from drugs? First of all, let’s accept one thing. The marijuana plant is not harmful, in fact it is a very beneficial plant. The criminal risk potential of marijuana is very low, as is the biological risk. Couldn’t marijuana be used as a barrier to prevent [the usage of] Bonzai?” Dilipak wrote, referring to the cheap, synthetic drug that has swept through Turkey in recent years, and which is known to be harmful.

Dilipak added that the sale of paint thinner and Bally glue is legal and available in stores everywhere, yet there are large numbers of paint huffers and glue sniffers in Turkey and when used as drugs these materials are a lot harmful to the brain and body and that the criminal risk potential is much higher. He claimed that there are two million alcoholics and 300,000 drug addicts in Turkey, and that 60 percent of murders and 33 percent of rapes are connected to alcohol and drug use.

A noted advocate of marijuana and the hemp plant, Dilipak has frequently written about how the plant can be used for the production of many different types of goods.

“Hemp is a blessing, divine gift and treat from God, and is a plant used in more than 50,000 products in the food, textile, energy, construction, pharmaceutical and cosmetic sectors. It is a plant that has the particular quality of being used in the treatment of cancer, diabetes and many other illnesses,” Dilipak wrote.

While President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has never advocated for marijuana use, he does share Dilipak’s support for the hemp plant.

While hemp was planted on 20 hectares in 2018, that number rose to 100 last year after Erdoğan vowed to engage in efforts toward producing hemp anew.

Following those remarks, Turkey’s Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry increased efforts at dealing with the matter. The amount of land allotted to hemp production has fluctuated over the past few decades.