The Chief Executive Officer of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, Brig. General Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) has recently warned that the current moves by some stakeholders to push for the legalisation of cannabis in Nigeria will rob the country of the gains so far made in the renewed war against drug abuse and trafficking in the country.
Earlier this month, the spokesperson of the House of Representatives, Benjamin Okezie Kalu, announced that the lower chamber of the National Assembly is about to legalise the use of Indian Hemp in Nigeria for its economic benefit.
Marwa said such step will amount to taking a step forward and 10 steps backward which will rob Nigeria of the gains it had made so far in the renewed war against drug abuse and trafficking.
He objected to the idea while lamenting the present figure of 10.6million Nigerians abusing cannabis, as it is frightening enough to sound the alarm bell. He said the strong connection between drug abuse and the security challenges across the country is incontrovertible.
He added that presently, there is no bigger national issue than the issue of insecurity in Nigeria, noting that it is one of the biggest challenge threatening the country
“Insecurity is today, a full-blown malady with many manifestations such as insurgency, banditry, kidnapping, murder, robbery, reprisal killing.
“The relationship between substance abuse and crime is a fact. What is clear is that no sane human being will rise against society to commit the kind of gross atrocities as we are witnessing in recent years, except such an individual has first hardened his heart with mind-altering substances. The use of drugs for perverted purposes is not a new phenomenon, neither is it something that just started in Nigeria. There are precedents in world history.
So beyond speculations and armchair theories, there is ample evidence, from report statistics and from empirical data from the field, to conclude that the use of illicit substances is a contributing factor to the worsening security situation in Nigeria. And if this is so, Nigeria should be the last country to consider a law to legalise marijuana in any shape or form.
“Should we have such a law, we will soon become a nation of junkies and criminals.
“As such, I will like to caution that our lawmakers should not legalise cannabis because it will amount to taking a step forward and 10 steps backward.”
Marwa said the agency had been able to seize over two million kilogrammes of illicit drugs worth over N90bn.