The Chairman of the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (retd), Friday, cautioned federal lawmakers against giving backing to any push to legalise cannabis.
Marwa gave the caution while interacting with State House correspondents after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Friday.
The former Lagos State military administrator said the World Health Organization (WHO) had confirmed the dangers of cannabis to the brain, adding that Nigeria is the highest consumer of substance.
Marwa, who expressed optimism cannabis would not be legalised, said: “Now, the World Health Organisation itself has declared cannabis affects the brain, alters brain function. It destabilizes, affects behaviour. It also affects body organs, and at some point, it can lead to death.
“So, while we appreciate those who want to localize it for financial gains, we have to be careful to reconcile it with life. So it’s money versus life. And up to this point, science has not developed up to the point where it can remove the THC in cannabis to zero.
“Therefore, cannabis is harmful to our health, it is a danger to society. We must never allow its legalization. What’s more, Nigeria has 10.6 million cannabis users, this is the highest in the world. Isn’t it sad?
“We should be the highest in science, technology, mathematics, physics, and stuff that were looked at as highest in cannabis. That is something we need.
“We can never support legalization and I don’t see how the National Assembly would pass the Act because I know 90% or more of the honourable and distinguished members of the National Assembly know the implications of this legalization and they dare not go back to their constituencies if anyone signs legalization because we’re seeing the implication on the ground. The youths, the families are being destroyed because of cannabis and drugs. It wouldn’t be legalized by the grace of God.”