The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has rejected the calls for the legalisation of consumption of cannabis in Nigeria, asserting that it would spell doom for the country.
A bill for the legalisation of cannabis for medical and scientific purposes has been before the National Assembly since January.
“As we speak, 10.6 [million] Nigerians are using cannabis; that’s too high, yet you want us to legalise it so that more people will take it?
“We will not accept that; we in NDLEA reject the move in totality,” NDLEA chief executive Buba Marwa said.
Mr Marwa said this at an interactive session with heads of security agencies, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and heads of government agencies in Jos, Plateau.
The event held on Thursday also had traders associations, youths and women groups, among other key stakeholders in attendance.
Some Nigerians have been advocating for the legalisation of the drug for health and economy purposes.
But Mr Marwa said that legalising cannabis would truncate its ongoing fight against drug abuse, adding that such a move would also take the country back to its dark days.
“NDLEA absolutely rejects the call for the legalisation of cannabis; it is a choice between earning money and the importance of life.
“There is no research about the healing qualities of cannabis, but we all know on the other hand that it causes brain disorder, psychosis, it destroys the lungs and other key organs of the body.
“It definitely affects one’s behaviour as well,” he argued.
The NDLEA boss promised that the agency would continue to sustain the fight against drug abuse in the society, insisting that a drug free society was possible.
He called on security agencies and other stakeholders to support the agency in its bid to stem the tide of drug abuse in the nation.