Legalising Cannabis Will Turn Nigeria To Nation Of Junkies – Marwa
The Chairman and Chief Executive of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brig. General Mohamed Buba Marwa has warned that 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.
The NDLEA boss spoke in Abuja on Wednesday at a national security summit organised by the House of Representatives. He said the present figure of 10.6million Nigerians abusing cannabis is frightening and enough to sound the alarm bell.
“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 ten steps backward.
“It will no doubt rob the nation of recent gains in the war against illicit drugs. In less than four months, we have been able to mop up over two million kilograms of illicit drugs, with over N90billion worth of illicit substances seized.
“Imagine if a fraction of this had found its way into our streets. We can’t be holding a national security summit and at the same time considering legalising illicit substances,” Marwa noted.
These comments come about five months after the drug law enforcement agency’s boss assumed office, pledging to overhaul and expand the agency to effectively deal with the menace of drug abuse in the country.
The ex-governor who headed the Presidential Advisory Committee for the Elimination of Drug Abuse said the revamping will be done in line with the recommendations of the committee.
Further addressing the summit, Brig. General Marwa said there is presently no bigger national issue than the issue of insecurity in Nigeria, adding that the relationship between substance abuse and crime is a fact.
“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,” the NDLEA boss stated.
The NDLEA’s Chief Executive commended the organisers of the summit, saying it could not have come at a better time. He urged Nigerians to stand up and take ownership of the fight against insecurity in the country.