To the People

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Thursday, January 17, 2008

Cannabis: Africa's Biggest Drug Problem

I understand that the West Coast of Africa has become the latest hot-spot for global drug trafficking. What I don't know, is what size the piece of the trafficking pie is dedicated to marijuana. allAfrica reports:
The Chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Ahmadu Giade said at the weekend that Cannabis otherwise known as Indian hemp is the biggest drug challenge in the country and the African continent.[...]

Giade, decried the dangers of hard drugs to humanity and stressed that the destruction exercises is to spite drug barons and also to demonstrate the superiority of law enforcement agents over illicit drug dealers.

According to Giade "the threat of narcotic drugs is palpable. It is difficult to ignore this peril starring at us in the face. Cannabis control constitutes the biggest drug challenge in Nigeria and Africa . This is because it grows effortlessly in the country. This drug has the propensity to destroy our society but we equally have the capacity to subdue it".

Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State in his goodwill message said that it is sad that some indigenes of the State are getting involved in the illicit drug trade when they are highly respected as good business men and women.

"Anambra citizen has no business with illicit drugs and I assure you that the State will partner with the NDLEA to ensure that Anambra State and by implication the entire country is completely drug free"he said.

Giade pointed out that illegal drug business is a covert affair that makes drug control a very cumbersome task demanding enormous resources, training and dexterity. The NDLEA boss said that no drug baron wants his drugs seized let alone destroyed because they have paid so much to acquire them.
My title is a bit misleading, as even the official seems to make the distinction of 'cannabis control', rather than the plant itself. I'm sure Nigeria is no friend to drug reformers, but their officials seem willing to honestly admit that policing the drug trade is the problem in and of itself*. That's more than we can say for U.S. drug warriors. Story here.

*Yes, I understand that NDLEA probably usues this rehetoric to demand more money for its efforts. Just because it may be out of self-interest, doesn't make it any less true, or refreshing to hear.

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