FILE PHOTO: Various-sized joints for sale are pictured at the annual 4/20 marijuana event at Sunset Beach in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada on April 20, 2017. REUTERS/Jason Redmond/File Photo
Nigeria has been urged by The United Nations (UN) to relax laws restricting usage of Cannabis to allow its prescription for Nigerians. This is following the approval of Indian hemp for medical purposes by the UN.
The UN also pushed against the criminalisation of hard drugs’ use, noting that those addicted to them are sick and need treatment, care and rehabilitation.
Harsheth Kaur Virk, the Project Officer, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in Nigeria, revealed this in her presentation at a one-day public hearing on the rising abuse of pharmaceutical drugs among youths in Nigeria.
The event was organised by the Senate’s Joint Committee on Drugs and Narcotics and Health.
Virk, believes cannabis is a miracle drug allowed for medical purposes by the UN. She, however, stated that it was 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 the outcome of research conducted to that effect by globally recognised institutes.”
Users of other addictive drugs for recreational purposes, as approved by the UN, should not be criminalised but rehabilitated according to her.
“The Drugs and Crime Office of the UN sees addictive drug users as people who are sick, in need of treatment, care and rehabilitation,” she stated.
The UN official, however, pointed out that the global body was against drug trafficking.
She charged Nigeria’s security agencies to be proactive in their anti-drug trafficking campaign and not reactive.
Mr. Femi Oloruntoba, the Director, Technical Services, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, (NDLEA) in his presentation, stated that drug traffickers and possessors were the ones being criminalised, and not drug users in Nigeria.
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