Tunisia to ease penalties for cannabis use

The changes will avoid thousands of imprisonments
News24 (South Africa)
Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Tunisians convicted of cannabis consumption will be able to avoid prison if it is their first offence. The north African country has faced mounting calls from rights groups to reform a law that jails youths for a year for smoking a joint. Law 52, dating back to the rule of toppled dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, imposes a mandatory one-year jail sentence for narcotics use, ruling out any mitigating circumstances. But the National Security Council headed by President Beji Caid Essebsi announced measures to limit the number of users sent to prison. For a first conviction, judges will be able to issue a pardon as soon as the judgment is pronounced. (See also: "All This for a Joint")