Egypt: Hashish Crisis adds to Nation's Woes

Egyptians have been suffering lately from lack of bread, fuel, and bottled gas for cooking. But lately they have been hit by a more severe crisis, which is the lack of the narcotic Hashish (cannabis). Although weed, and drugs in general, are prohibited by the Egyptian law, it seems that is has been widely used all over the country, and such a crisis is effecting many people.

Wahda Masreya, wrote here about the hash crisis and how she thinks it's really effecting the Egyptian citizens:

و في رأي إن أزمة الحشيش تعد الأصعب و الأقوى على شعب مصر حيث أن نظام القمع و القهر لم يترك للمصريين إلا الحشيش يدخنونة لينسوا به مشاكلهم و أزماتهم و عجزهم و ضيق الحال
In my opinion, the weed crisis is the most severe crisis compared to the other ones. The oppression of the regime left no other choice for the Egyptians but to smoke weed in order to forget their problems, inabilities, and poverty.

She then described why people smoke weed, and how it is common among different classes and communities. She writes:

لست من مدخنى الحشيش او أي مكيفات لكن
تعرفت على الكثييرين من كل الأطياف و الألوان و أدركت اهمية الحشيش في حياتهم فمنهم من يدخنة ليلا و منهم من يدخنة قبل الإياب للعمل حيث ينسية منظر أم المدير و القرف و البروقراطية و المرتب اللي زي الزفت و المواصلات اللي بيتدبهدل فيها فكان الحشيش هو الحل الأمثل و عرفت من يأكل الحشيش ولا يدخنة حتى قبل أن يواجة زوجتة و أسرتة بطلابتهم التي لا يستطيع الإيفاء بها
I do not smoke weed myself, or any other drugs. But I know many people from all classes
of the society who do and I know how important it is to them. Some smoke weed at night, while others smoke it in the morning before going to work to be able to forget their managers nastiness, the bureaucracy, the low salary, and the humiliation they suffer in finding transportation to and from their work. I know others who eat it instead of smoke it to be able to handle their wives and children's endless needs that they cannot fulfill.

She ended her post saying:

الازمة حقيقية و حرجة و ربما يستطيع عالم إقتصاد ان يذكر لنا مدى تأثير تلك الأزمة على الإقتصاد المصري ؟
مع كل ذلك و مع خالص تعاطفي كمصرية صميمية و إدراكي لمعاناة المحشيشين المصريين في كل مكان إلا أنني لا أنكر ساعدتى من أن أخيرا يا مصريين “حنخلي الدماغ صاحي”
The crisis is severe, and may be we need economists to find out how it is going to effect the Egyptian economy.
Although I am sympathetic with the Egyptians and feel their pain everywhere, but I cannot deny my happiness that finally the Egyptians will wake up.

Whazzup Egypt
, on the other hand, refused calling the issue a crisis, and wrote a new post in her blog commenting on Max Strasser's article in TheFasterTimes where he called it “Egypt’s Great Hash Crisis of 2010“.

I wouldn't think that lack of availability of an illegal substance could be termed a crisis. But this writer seems to think so and has a perspective on the issue.
He sums his article up by saying “Life is difficult for most people here. Let them get stoned.” – and that's not in the Biblical/Quranical sense :)

Finally, the crisis was surprisingly discussed openly in main stream media, and many Egyptians made use of online web forums to market the hash they own.


  • Manzoor H. Sarkar

    This is the most stupid argument I ever heard defining it as a crisis . I don’t know if the Egyptian society is so much spoiled that this issue is discussed in the mainstream media calling it as a crisis . Many arguably in the western industrialized countries ,especially the working class people laid off & deeply engulfed in economic crisis , can also make such reasoning and try to solve their woes by forgetting their daily problems through consumption of liquors & drugs . I guess the Egyptian public should better concentrate their focus on solving the supply and availability of basic daily necessaries like bread , fuel , gas , etc .

  • Felid_Catachresis

    Hashish shouldn’t be translated as “weed.” It’s the same word in English. “Weed” would be “bongo.”

  • Really? If it were regulated both of these problems would be solved. Marijuana Reform – Worldwide. Now.

  • Jennifer Mc Cleary

    I too agree with Marijuana reform but I certainly wouldn’t call this issue a “crisis.” After all, what are anti-depressants for? There are other more pressing issues to deal with, such as low wages and poverty. Seems to me that priorities need to be set straight here.

  • Calling it a crisis here is for the sake of Irony

  • Soulmate

    People you make me laugh with your arguments.
    If you don’t use something that doesn’t means that others don’t need it….. that’s an egoists thoughts.
    Anti-depressants !??!?! REALLY?!?!? Are you sure that this is the way?!?!?!? If so, go to your doctor an ask him what better smoke weed or take anti-depressants, if you paying him money he will answer you that its anti-depressants, after all you on drugs its his money, but i know many people that today use anti-depressants on daily usage, its like using heroin, one pill less and you going crazy, so that’s the way you want it for other people???

    Crisis means people suffer no matter from what, so it is crisis… Some of you already lost there human side of understanding the suffer of others, so you think that money, gas, fuel, gold, etc. can save you from your mental side… but at the end you’ll see that it never enough and need more…
    so the mental side that’s all its matters… instead of blah blah about that’s not crisis, people will wake up, anti-depressants, try to think about alcohol and cigarettes, its a drugs to but someone made them legal, isn’t is strange that alcohol and heroin its same drug but one legal and the other not, isn’t it strange that cigarettes shorting the life not just of thous who smoke but to all the people around theme, and there is a reach propaganda’s on advertising thous products to people of all ages, gasoline shorting our life’s but no one doing nothing about, Anti-depressants its heroin like drugs but again legal, nuclear waste that dropped down on third world countries, sexual abuses like homo sexual lesbians pornography that keep advertising on mass media, money greed etc….
    So who is really SPOILED and need to WAKE UP…???
    Maybe its you after all…

    BTW here is the mean of word CRISIS:

    1. A crucial or decisive point or situation; a turning point.
    2. An unstable condition, as in political, social, or economic affairs, involving an impending abrupt or decisive change.
    2. A sudden change in the course of a disease or fever, toward either improvement or deterioration.
    3. An emotionally stressful event or traumatic change in a person’s life.
    4. A point in a story or drama when a conflict reaches its highest tension and must be resolved.

    I think i made my point here…

    Stay human, bring peace on your souls….

    “Hundred of stupid flies gather on a piece of rotten meat. Enjoying, they think; a delicious feast. This image fits with a song of the myriads of foolish living beings who seek happiness in superficial pleasures; in countless ways they try, yet I have never seen them satisfied.”
    ~7th Dalai Lama

  • Jennifer Mc Cleary

    You know, you’re absolutely right. Anti-Depressants are not the answer… I’ll be the first to admit that. Although they work for some people, they don’t necessarily work for everyone. My psychiatrist has been trying to get me to take anti-depressants for a year now and I’ll continue to refuse. You know why? Because anti-depressants and all other drugs (illegal and legal) do not solve your life’s problems. Drugs only cover up your problems, only for you to wake up hung over the next morning looking for more drugs to cover up the new day’s problems. Humans cannot live like this, we are smarter than that!
    My doctor is likely to not recommend marijuana over pills because it’s illegal, not because the pharmaceutical companies are paying him (although I’m sure it plays a part in WHAT drugs he recommends). For my doctor to openly tell me to engage in illegal activities for the sake of my health would not be ethical. I would most certainly fire him… unless I lived in Alaska or California where marijuana is legal.
    Look, don’t get me wrong, I think the illegality of marijuana is ludicrous. Alcohol and cigarettes are much worse on your body then pot, and the number of people killed each year in drunk driving in the U.S. is enough to make you sick to your stomach about how backwards drug laws are.
    However, I would most certainly not go as far as to compare heroine to pills or alcohol. I’ve SEEN heroin addiction. My brother-in-law almost died because of how addicted he was to it. Don’t be foolish; heroine is a destroyer of LIVES… and a quick one at that. And unlike pharmaceuticals (which are the purest form of drugs), heroine is laced with a number of deadly additives and chemicals that are definitely not safe for human consumption.
    Further, my life is not consumed with fantasies of “money, gas, fuel, and gold.” I have priorities in life: my family, my education, my community, my work, period. I don’t drive (I haven’t driven since 1998) and I live pay check to pay check, making ends meet with what little I have. I have not lost my humanity sir, I live to serve people every day… in my work and in the time I spend to improve the lives of children in my community. Do not presume to know what kind of person I am.
    I do not think this is a crisis. Going back to what I originally said, “there are other more pressing issues to deal with, such as low wages and poverty.” and I meant that. People need to stop covering up their problems with drugs, illegal or otherwise, and start focusing on what is causing their sadness or boredom.
    Look, I understand the ills of Americans and our lifestyles. We’re the number one consumer and WASTER of fossil fuels, we’re willfully ignorant about other cultures and peoples (even the ones right next to us), and we’re blind to the injustices of our own governmental system. Of this, I am fully aware. Unlike most Americans, I AM conscious of these social problems. I understand why marijuana shortages can be considered a crisis. I too was once a smoker, but found other outlets to manage my pain. I’m sure the Dali Lama would agree that there are other ways of finding peace in your life. Meditation, writing, volunteering, etcetera.
    I can agree with you to a degree. For some people, marijuana is their only saving grace. It’s cheap, non-addictive, and besides lung cancer, it’s the least harsh on your body. However, if your government makes it illegal (or hard to obtain) then move somewhere where you CAN smoke freely. I know this is easier said than done but if you put your mind to it, you can do anything. The only person stopping you would be yourself. Although I don’t necessarily agree with your argument, I respect your opinion. Peace be with you brother.

    • Soulmate

      I’m sorry if took my words of “stay human” or “may be you are spoiled” personal… that was not the point… i very respect your opinion (all opinions).

      And I’m very sorry about your brother, i my self had a friend that literally died on my hands from overdose like the doctors said afterwards, and today i stay far from people that’s using it because its not easy think to loose some one you loved as your friend, but i still stand on the opinion that if something is legal that doesn’t mean its less addicting or less dangerous…

      Little brightness on the HEROIN against ALCOHOL or ANTI-DEPRESSANTS…
      ALCOHOL same as HEROIN the only difference is the time you get addicted if heroin takes 2 shots directly to blood and its enough to get addicted, that doesn’t mean that if you sniff it or smoke it it will addict you the same way, it even can not to addict you at all (based on your brain activity). With alcohol is the same stuff but did you ever heard of some one shoots alcohol directly to the blood… if so it you can spell thous people on one hand…. but if you go to some one who understands the chemical way of two drugs you’ll see that they work all most the same on the brain cells… the point of 2 drugs is bring less oxygen to brain, and when the brain is lack of oxygen it starts to disable or work less with some areas, that’s why you feel dizzy the picture get doubled or things like that, of course the thinking area in front head almost stops working nether it ALCOHOL or HEROIN… (BTW: Brain takes 35%-55% of all body energy)
      One more thing on the issue… look at Russia today 45% from people ADDICTED TO ALCOHOL… and its legal there…
      And if you familiar with the story of “Britain kills China with Opium”… may be it look the same when you trying to look on those 2 issues… and the question is WHO IS THE ***********************…… but that’s not from our story…

      ANTI-DEPRESSANTS same as HEROIN here is the differences:
      ANTI-DEPRESSANTS – Legal chemicals that stops or slows some brain processes to make the person not to fell the moral pain of those areas, ANTI-DEPRESSANTS not work on your physical side… you get addicted to them you cannot stop while you are addicted, you can try to switch to other ANTI-DEPRESSANTS but it not certainly work, mostly not… and it brings a lot of trouble to the person it self, i have a friend (a girl) that broke up with her boyfriend because he could come (i mean in bed) never even if they spend 24 hours in bed, and all that because of ANTI-DEPRESSANTS (BTW: today he is in social-drug-camp that made for people addicted to illegal drugs and he even not smokes cigarettes)… so ANTI-DEPRESSANTS are same as heroin…

      Your doctor trying to put you on ANTI-DEPRESSANTS because its his money, you can say that your doctor is very good person that tries to help people, and i say that may be its so but because of today way of thinking “MONEY equals GOD” everyone try to stay closer to the “GOD” like in religion… and the doctors of today even don’t really know what drugs they giving you made from… so many pharmaceutical products that you cannot remember them all and learn about all of their bad sides… like ZOREX or CLONEX or stuff…. so basically ALCOHOL=ANTI-DEPRESSANTS=HEROIN=DESTROYER OF LIVES, cigarettes is the other hand of legal drugs… i know today that marijuana when its grown on earth without chemicals don’t addict you physically and don’t have nothing to cancer your loans… but cigarettes addict you physically, because of flavors have many cancer chemicals, have tar in it, nicotine that addict your brain to stop providing the body with some needed chemicals for muscle relaxation (BTW: Marijuana don’t have even tar if its pure smoking without tobacco) so what is legal not certainly good for you and may be even worse than the illegal one… put a little logic in the thoughts marijuana grows on earth by it self for many many years and was used by all the people in many ways, and smoking there to, ANTI-DEPRESSANTS made in laboratories by people hands and tested on animals for seeing if its not killing it from the first time… so at this point you can see what is good and what is bad… and of course anything you do more then needed is bad… you can die from pill against headache if you take ten instead of one…. that’s my thoughts about doctors of today…

      and as far as i can see from your reply you are not the person that lives for money, so you are still on the bight side of the force :)

      was happy to talk to some one that cares a little more that him self, today its hard to find people like this…

      again sorry about all the stuff you took personally… but i care about people troubles, and any thing that make person uncomfortable is a trouble… only thing from here its what the answer to it… so for me its stays crisis until some one suffers.
      (BTW: there was some suicides based on the lack of marijuana and i think that’s a little extreme but there you go…)

      Dali Lama can agree with you about the other ways of finding soul piece but he never told that nature drugs cannot help you with it, for instance if person cannot understand the meaning of true world and the world you see and live in the treat you with hallucinogenics drugs to make you see it with your own eyes then may be you could understand a little more and start to work on it without drugs… some Buddhist say that L.S.D. its like meditation, but meditation based on your own mind and gives more answers that something you realised in some hours and forgot week after…

      Stay cool minded, bring peace on earth, and help people in any way…..

      “Hundred of stupid flies gather on a piece of rotten meat. Enjoying, they think; a delicious feast. This image fits with a song of the myriads of foolish living beings who seek happiness in superficial pleasures; in countless ways they try, yet I have never seen them satisfied.”
      ~7th Dalai Lama

  • Jennifer Mc Cleary

    I get what you’re trying to say in terms of comparing heroine, alcohol, and anti-depressants. I understand they all slow your brain function; however they are not the same. Heroine by far is the worse of the three, followed by alcohol and anti-depressants.
    I agree that just because a drug is legal (i.e. alcohol, cigarettes, and anti-depressants) it doesn’t make them good for you. In fact, the U.S. statistic for drug addiction is actually a lot higher than claimed because a LARGE majority of middle class women are addicted to prescribed medications including synthetic heroine and speed (especially speed). As you said, too much of anything can be bad.
    I’ll also agree that anti-depressants, although a pure drug, has many adverse side effects. Even some that may affect your sex life. Often the cure is worse than the disease! However, I cannot agree with your claim that marijuana doesn’t have tar. It actually has twice the amount of tar than cigarettes have, but no added chemicals. Putting smoke into your lungs, with cigarettes or marijuana, WILL have an effect on your body. It’s still possible to get cancer smoking marijuana, however the chances are much higher if you’re smoking cigarettes.
    In my youth, I have experimented with LSD and peyote and they were both eye openers (peyote especially). I definitely wouldn’t recommend making it a habit but it did awaken me to something beyond myself. I believe people who have taken these drugs see the world in a different light but again, it should be a one time thing and not a habit.
    I agree with you for the most part but I do think, as humans, we can live beyond drugs… ALL drugs. We need to face our problems head on and solve them at the source. Basically, try to improve your life and your life’s problems instead of covering them with drugs. I understand that some people do not have the capabilities to solve their problems head on, such as those who attempt or actually commit suicide. In those cases, therapy and a temporary drug regiment is always an option.
    Thanks for the lively debate, it’s been interesting. :-)

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