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Ndokwa Vanguard

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Delta gov urges FG to discourage destruction of cannabis farms

Jun 28, 2023 #News

Delta State Governor, Sheriff Oborevwori, yesterday, added his voice to the call by his Ondo State counterpart, Rotimi Akeredolu, for the cultivation and exportation of cannabis sativa to earn foreign exchange for the country.

Oborevwori argued that rather than destroy farms where cannabis are cultivated in the avowed fight against drugs/substance abuse, they should be properly harnessed for health and monetary benefits.

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In the last 12 months, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has destroyed 25.16 hectares of cannabis sativa farmland in Delta State.

But Oborevwori urged Nigeria to take advantage of the medicinal contents of cannabis, cultivate it in commercial quantities for exports.

He spoke at a sensitisation programme organised by the state Drug Control Committee in collaboration with Association of Hospital and Administrative Pharmacists of Nigeria, to mark this year’s day against drug abuse and illicit drug trafficking.

The theme of the celebration was ‘People First: Stop the Stigma and Discrimination, Strengthen Prevention.’

Oborevwori, represented by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Dr. Kingsley Emu, urged Nigeria to take a cue from the United States, where several states  have legalized cannabis sativa on health grounds because it has become a substance to cure some health challenges.

“Let us try and explore that option too.  As a state, if we have the natural advantage to cultivate it in a controlled manner, if we have the capability to grow it because it grows here very easily and freely, why don’t we cultivate it and translate it to economic uses. Destroying 25.16 hectares of cannabis sativa farmland is a waste. The cost of destruction is a lot, and even the environmental impact is also there. So if we can do that in a controlled form, have people authorised to grow it, then with off takers, and then you have a full-proof way of taking it out of the country, I think we should encourage it,” he said.

The governor however commended NDLEA  in the fight against drug/substance abuse, lamenting the alarming rate of drug/substance abuse among youths in the country with its attendant negative consequences.

“The high rate of drug abuse in Nigeria and its negative impact on public health and safety necessitates that all the relevant stakeholders rise to the challenge of ridding our society of this scourge. Rest assured that this administration will sustain the current collaborative efforts with the NDLEA and the SDCC in the fight against drug abuse. Ultimately, the solution to drug abuse lies with the larger society. It cannot be left to the government alone. Families, schools, media, voluntary organizations, and religious bodies must make concerted efforts to confront and eradicate drug abuse from our society. Parents must ensure that they monitor their children; schools should encourage the formation of social clubs to sensitise the students,” he said.

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