The Cigarette Dealers Association in Cairo and Giza has called for legalizing the use and trade of hashish, considering it a fast and effective way to reduce the state budget deficit. The measure, they say, would likely bring results within a few years.
The illegal trading of hashish amounts to LE42 billion annually, which consitutes 2.5 percent of the national income,” said the chairman of the association, Osama Salama. “The government spends LE1 billion every year to fight it, only managing to uncover around 15 percent the total traded amount.”
Salama suggested a 10 percent tax on hashish, to be increased over 10 years up to 50 percent. “The high taxes on cigarettes have created a market for cheaper smuggled cigarettes,” he said.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm