There are strong indications that Nigeria may soon relax its law against the planting and consumption of cannabis, especially since other African countries are already doing so.
On Monday, the United Nations (UN) approved the usage of the plant for medical purposes; and has since urged Nigeria to legalise its use for the same purpose.
Harsheth Kaur Virk, the Project Officer of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime in Nigeria made this known in a one-day public hearing held by the Senate Committee on Drugs, Narcotics and Health on the need to curb the pharmaceutical drug abuse among the Nigerian youth.
“Cannabis is a miracle drug allowed for medical purposes by the United Nations, but not for recreational purposes. Nigeria as a sovereign Nation has its stringent laws against it but international conventions of the UN have approved it for medical purposes based on outcome of researches conducted to that effect by globally recognized institutes.
Aside cannabis, recreational users of other addictive drugs by UN recommendation should not be criminalised, but rehabilitated. The Drugs and Crime office of the UN sees addictive drugs users as people who are sick, in need of treatment, care and rehabilitation.”
The representative of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency ( NDLEA), Mr Femi Oloruntoba, Director of Technical Services, then told the committee that drug users in Nigeria are not criminalised but drug traffickers or possessors are.
That is incorrect, but we’ll allow it since it may mean that he’s speaking about the future – because Nigeria has strong, almost stringent laws against drugs right now. But you can also buy edibles on Twitter, so I’m not sure what that says.
Will Nigeria legalize medical Marijuana? Maybe, but it will not be soon. So don’t hold your breath.