Kettama, Morocco — In the rugged Rif mountains, Abdelkhalek Benabdallah strode among towering marijuana plants, checking the buds for the telltale spots of white that indicate they are ready for harvest. Much of the crop had been picked and left to dry on the roofs of stone-and-wood huts that dot the valley, the heart Morocco’s pot-growing region. Benabdallah says he openly grows the crop, while understanding the risk: “We are regularly subject to blackmail by the gendarmes,” he said as he scythed through stalks and wrapped them into a bundle.
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