Chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brig Gen. Buba Marwa (rtd) has said any member of the National Assembly that supports any legislation to legalise the use of cannabis will find it difficult to go to his or her constituency.
Marwa disclosed this to State House correspondents after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
According to him, the campaign against drug abuse was being taken to schools, lamenting that kids now begin to use drugs from primary schools.
He said, “Now, the World Health Organisation itself has declared cannabis affects the brain, alters brain function. It destabilises, affects behaviour. It also affects body organs, and at some point, it can lead to death.
“So, while we appreciate those who want to legalise 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, 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, 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 percent or more of the Honorable 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 legalised by the grace of God.”
Marwa said that he discussed the issue of building barracks for the NDLEA operatives in the 36 states of the federation.
“Finally, and very importantly, I raised the issue of barracks. The NDLEA has been in existence for 32 years. All other agencies, armed forces, police, customs, immigration,
road safety all have estates, and barracks, except the NDLEA, we still don’t have barracks.
“And now, considering the hazardous nature of the work that we do, the danger in it, we arrest and jail the criminals and then live among them. When you send operatives, to go into the forest, to go after the criminals, they will be encouraged if they knew that their own families are secure in a barracks somewhere.
“So clearly, we got a positive response on that, we’re very grateful for it and we look forward to the execution as soon as it is practicable. The economy, I’m sure permitting,” he added.
Asked where the baracks will be sited, he said: “We have as you know, personnel in 36 states of the Federation and FCT, therefore, we expect barracks in all the locations that as we as having to travel the country, the budgetary provisions is something that I will not comment on at this point.”
On whether he has received any threat since he assumed office, the NDLEA boss said, “Severally, it’s almost a daily occurrence because my phone number is open. Equally, messages come through family, through colleagues, and sometimes people at random who we don’t know but live in the territory. That said we also take precautions.”