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Jailed for a puff: Why Tunisia's prisons are crammed with cannabis users

© FRANCE 24

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2017-02-01

Many Tunisian prisons are overcrowded, some at 150 percent of their capacity — and authorities say one third of the inmates are there only for marijuana use.

Under Tunisia’s Law 52, authorities can carry out random urine tests that can lead to convictions for marijuana use or possession and an automatic one-year prison sentence.

Law 52 convictions have been on the rise, going from just a few hundred to several thousand over the last 15 years. But in February parliament is set to debate reforms that could cut down on overcrowding.

FRANCE 24’s Sandro Lutyens and Hamdi Tlili look at why so many young Tunisians are going to jail for taking a puff, and at the reforms that some prisoner advocates are pushing for.

Date created : 2017-02-01

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