ABUJA – The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) on Thursday warned countries against legalising the use of cannabis and urged them to consider its long-term effect on health and people’s welfare.
Miss Mariam Sissoko of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) gave the warning while reading the 2014 World Drug Report and the 2013 INCB report.
“The INCB report this year places a special focus on the economic consequences of drug abuse, and urged institutions and governments to put in place cost-effective prevention policies and treatment programmes.
“The INCB report also raises the alarm about initiatives aimed at legalising the use of cannabis, while calling on countries, who are considering this legalisation to reflect on the long-term health and welfare of their populations.
“I am pleased to report that UNODC in Nigeria has engaged with the Federal Ministry of Health and key national institutions, with financial support from the European Union, to increase the service provision for drug addiction treatment.“
Sissoko pledged the commitment of UNODC to partnering with Nigeria to address the issues of drug production, trafficking, and use in the country.
Mr Ahmadu Giade, the Chief Executive Officer, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), said that drug production, trafficking, and abuse represented one of the biggest security challenges confronting humanity.
“Illicit drugs seized last year weighed 339,968kg with an estimated street value of 34 billion naira.
“The breakdown is as follows; cannabis 205,373kg, psychotropic substances 133,920kg, while methamphetamine 340.8kg and cocaine290.2kg.
“The situation is so frightening that an urgent intervention is needed for a guaranteed global peace and development. Drug is a catalyst for crime,“ he said.p
He said drug control measures were more effective when community leaders, families, media and individuals supported anti-drug abuse programmes.
Dr Paul Orhii, the Director-General of the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), applauded the presentation of the report, saying that the report would help strengthen the activities of drug regulatory agencies.
He said the report would provide the opportunity for relevant stakeholders to acquaint themselves with updated lists of substances under international control.
Orhii pledged NAFDAC’s commitment to controlling the abuse of drugs in the country. (NAN)