Ganduje rejects legalisation of cannabis

Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State on Monday expressed his displeasure over attempt at legalising the use of marijuana or Cannabis Dativa (Indian hemp) in the country.

Ganduje expressed his feelings when the Chairman, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA)  retired Brig.- Gen. Buba Marwa, led top officials of the agency on a courtesy visit to Kano.

In a statement by the NDLEA spokesperson, Mr Femi Babafemi, the governor said that no lawmaker from the state would support such a bid in the National Assembly.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the NDLEA’s visit to Kano state was part of the ongoing War Against Drug Abuse (WADA) project.

Ganduje assured that beside the stand of Kano State Government against drug abuse and trafficking, the predominant religion in the state, Islam, was against drug abuse and trafficking.

“Kano has the highest number of federal lawmakers in the National Assembly. I want to assure you that none of them will support any attempt to legalise cannabis.

“We will also grant your requests for land and accommodation for a zonal command in the state,” he said.

Earlier, Marwa urged the governor not to support any bid to legalise cannabis sativa by some elected officials in the country.

He said that the NDLEA was currently doing so much to cut availability and accessibility to illicit drugs across Nigeria.

The chairman added that any attempt to legalise the illicit substance would be a setback to the progress made so far.

“With over 8,634 arrests; 2,776,000 kilograms of drugs worth over N100 billion seized between January and now, it is a big one for us.

“Also, 1,630 convictions; 3,232 cases in court and over 4,000 drug users counselled and rehabilitated show the progress made so far.

“We are already making substantial progress in our drug supply reduction and drug demand reduction efforts.

“We are, however, convinced that the ongoing attempts by some of our elected officials to legalise cannabis, which is being abused by over 10.6 million Nigerians, will be a draw back for the achievements so far.

“This is why I want to implore your Excellency and Kano state not to support the attempt to legalise cannabis,” he said.

Marwa warned landlords to ensure that they do not accommodate drug traffickers in their houses.

He said that NDLEA would not hesitate to seek forfeiture of any property used to store illicit drugs.

The NDLEA boss commended the governor for making drug test a prerequisite for public officials and those aspiring for public offices in the state.

He urged the governor to support NDLEA with 25 hectares of land to build barracks in the state and a property that would house a zonal command office of the agency in Kano.