Chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) General Buba Marwa, has reiterated his stance on the use of Cannabis in Nigeria, saying that the agency will never support its legalisation.
General Marua said this on Friday while addressing journalists after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House.
“We can never support legalisation and I don’t see how the National Assembly will pass the Act because I know 90 per cent or more of the honourables and distinguished members in the National Assembly know the implications of their legislation,” he said.
“They dare not go back to their constituencies if anyone signs the legislation because we are seeing the implications on the ground, the youths, the families all being destroyed because of cannabis and drugs”.
Debates regarding a proposed legalisation of cannabis in Nigeria have from time to time been brought to the fore especially since President Muhammadu Buhari appointed Gen. Marwa as NDLEA Chairman earlier in the year.
The retired brigadier general who was a former Military Administrator of Lagos State has, since taking office, stood his grounds against the legalisation of marijuana.
In opposing the demands for the approval of cannabis in Nigeria, Marwa has repeatedly argued that the nation cannot afford to mortgage the lives of the citizens for financial gains.
While several nations across the world also share similar sentiments, many, in recent times have begun decriminalising the use of the cannabis.
In Nigeria, Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, is one of those who has supported calls for its legalisation, urging the Federal Government to jettison traditional orientation and “archaic” sentiment that states 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 outweigh its demerits and the Nigerian government needs 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,” the governor said at a stakeholder meeting earlier in June this year.
But the NDLEA boss, at the time, maintained that the agency will continue to burn down marijuana farms and prosecute whoever is caught doing the business.
According to him, the NDLEA has seized drugs worth over ₦100 billion and arrested about 1,630 criminals since January 2021.