Mohammed Marwa, Chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA,has opposed demands for the legalisation of cannabis in Nigeria.
Marwa, who stated this yesterday in response to earlier calls by Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State for legalisation for cultivation of cannabis sativa in the country, said the nation could not afford to mortgage the lives of the citizens for financial gains by legalising Cannabis.
When he addressed journalists in Abuja yesterday, in preparation for the 2021 World Drug Day, Marwa said the governor’s call was not acceptable to the NDLEA, adding that the agency would continue to burn down marijuana farms and prosecute whoever was caught doing the business.
He, therefore, said such calls by the Ondo State governor and some legislators must be resisted at all cost.
Meanwhile, the Country Representative of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, UNODC, Oliver Stolpe, said there were at least three million Nigerians struggling with drug-abuse-related habits.
He said recent research by UNODC had shown a steady rise in abuse of drugs, noting that cannabis remained the most abused substance in Nigeria.
He explained that most explained that most of those engaged in the use of illicit substances in Nigeria fall within the age bracket of 25-35 years of age.
On the part of Ondo State Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, he had constantly supported calls for legalisation of Cannabis Sativa, urging the Federal Government to jettison the old mindset of people that cannabis is a ‘devil’s plant’.
The governor, who is also a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, believes the medical and economic merits of the use of cannabis outweighed its demerits and advocated that the federal government needed to give legal backing to cannabis to enable its use in Nigeria.
“Cannabis is a multi-billion naira industry that can help diversify the Nigerian economy if judiciously utilised” said the Governor Akeredolu.
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