Headline Health News Nigeria

Cannabis still illegal in Nigeria-NAFDAC

Operates of the NDLEA raid a cannabis farm in Delta in 2021. Photo: Business Day

Nigeria will not support the trend of legalisation of cannabis for non-medical use as the country lacks the financial capacity to fight cultivation, production and illegal use of the substance.

Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Prof. Christianah Adeyeye said this during the launch of the 2022 International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) Annual Report, Availability Supplement and Precursor Report for 2022 in Lagos.

Prof Adeyeye noted that there was a rise in the illegal use of drugs as the 2018 National Drug Use Survey revealed that the prevalence of any drug was 14.4 4 per cent or 14.3 million people using drugs between the ages of 15 and 64 years.

“The report also revealed that cannabis is the most commonly used drug. An estimated 10.8 per cent of the population or 10.6 million people, had used cannabis in the past year. The average age of initiation of cannabis use among the general population was 19 years. Cannabis use was seven times higher among men (18.8 per cent among men vs. 2.6 per cent of women), while the gender gap in the non-medical use of pharmaceutical opioids (such as tramadol) was less marked.”

The NAFDAC DG added that, one of the control objectives is to ensure availability solely for medical and scientific uses while minimising the possibility of diversion to illicit channels and abuse. 

Writing by Muzha Kucha