According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Morocco is the “world’s largest cannabis resin producer.” Suffice it to say, Moroccans know a thing or two about hash.
At least 800,000 locals live off the industry, which rakes in an estimated $10 billion in sales, most of it thanks to the large appetite of Western Europe. Marijuana is still considered an illegal substance in Morocco, though its use is commonplace; when we visited, more than one Moroccan man emphasized that they didn’t do drugs, even after we watched them toke up. It’s also a big draw for backpack-wielding tourists, though going to Morocco solely for hash is stupid, as it’s just as accessible across the Straight of Gibraltar. In fact, in Portugal, all drugs are decriminalized.
Chefchaouen also happens to be a UNESCO World Heritage Site, equally renowned for its goat’s cheese and rich history. Needless to say, we didn’t hesitate to make the trip.
Fresh off the ferry in Tangier, we found our way to the bus depot and made a quick connection. Although Moroccan buses don't have bathrooms and aren't exactly state of the art, the seats were filled mostly with students and the experience ended up being among our most pleasant on Moroccan public transportation. More than six hours after boarding, we were deep into the northern Moroccan countryside, slowly crawling towards the blue city.