Richard Ginika Izuora
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has rejected the move by the legislature to legalize use of cannabis in the country warning of its dire consequences.
Mohammed Buba Marwa, the Chairman of NDLEA who stated this on Wednesday during a National Security summit of the House of Representatives argued that with drug abuse being identified as a major driver of insecurity, Nigeria should not consider any law to legalize cannabis in any shape or form.
According to him, there is a relationship between substance abuse and crime.
Marwa explained that no sane person will rise against society to commit crime as witnessed in recent years, except such an individual has first hardened his heart with mind-altering substances.
He said, “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 legalize 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. Presently, there is no bigger national issue than the issue of insecurity in Nigeria.
“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 legalize marijuana in any shape or form.”
Speaking further, Marwa noted that the scope and frequency of insecurity, and the audacity displayed by the perpetrators has called for a critical look at the malaise.
He said that the agency, in less than four months, has been able to mop up over two million kilograms of illicit drugs, with over N90bn 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 legalizing illicit substances,” he said.