The Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki has said the state government will set up a Drug Control Committee in partnership with the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to control the cultivation and abuse of Cannabis in the state.
The governor, said this when he received the Edo State Commander of NDLEA, Mr. Wakawa Buba, who was on a working visit to the governor at the Government House, Benin City, the Edo State capital.
Obaseki expressed displeasure over Edo State being listed among the highest Cannabis producing states in Nigeria, noting that his administration will provide support to the NDLEA to stem the tide.
He said, “Edo State Government identifies with your effort to reduce the demand and supply of Cannabis. We will support your effort through sensitisation, counselling, prosecution and rehabilitation of drug addicts, through the state’s ministries of Health, Women Affairs and Social Development.”
Obaseki said that the state government will set up a Forestry Commission, where forest guards will be recruited to check the cultivation of cannabis in forests across the state.
The Edo State Commander, NDLEA, Mr. Wakawa Buba, said the setting up of Drug Control Committee by the state government will complement the effort of the agency in controlling the cultivation and abuse of cannabis.
Buba added that the partnership with the state government will enable NDLEA combat drug cartels and assist youths overcome drug abuse and other related vices in society.
He also appealed to the state government to support the agency in procuring operational vehicles, construction of a standard cottage at the Drug Rehabilitation Centre and reconstruction of the state’s command office fence.
The commander regretted that most government forest reserves in the state have been converted to Cannabis colonies.
The implications of Cannabis cultivation include threat to food security, deforestation and the recruitment of school-age children as workers in Cannabis farms among others.