Some stakeholders in the North East have called for strict enforcement of laws criminalising the use of cannabis to enhance security and public safety.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the cultivation, recreational and medicinal use of cannabis is illegal in the country.
It is also a criminal offence to be found in possession of the plant which is part of the illegal drug.
A cross-section of the residents made the call while responding to a NAN survey on the menace of cannabis in Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa and Yobe States.
They said indiscriminate consumption of cannabis was aiding vices, violence and crimes in the insurgency-ravaged zone.
They said urgent and proactive measures were imperative to check the menace of cannabis as well as drug abuse in society.
To address the menace, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) had scaled up surveillance, raid and sensitisation activities to rid the region of cannabis and narcotic substances.
In Yobe, Aliyu Yahaya, the NDLEA Commander in the state, said cannabis consumption aided violent crimes and destroyed societal norms.
“It also destroys vital organs such as the brain. Prolong consumption of cannabis can lead to mental disorder,” he said.
The NDLEA in Adamawa had seized 2,197 parcels of cannabis and arrested 183 suspected drug peddlers in 2021.
Mosoti Mathias, Acting Assistant Commander, Drugs Demand Reduction Unit of the agency in the state, said the seizures and arrests were made in collaboration with security agencies and other stakeholders between January and December.
Similarly, Idris Abdullahi, Director, Social Welfare, Adamawa State Ministry of Women Affairs and Youth Development, said about 60 to 70 per cent of conflicts and vices in the region could be linked to drug abuse.
The Commissioner of Police in Borno, Abdu Umar, said the command recently raided some black spots and criminal hideouts where youths engaged in drug abuse and other crimes in Maiduguri metropolis were arrested.
Mr Abubakar Al-Saddique, a lecturer with Federal Polytechnic, Bauchi, said consumption of Marijuana and other hard drugs led to kidnapping, robbery, rape, cultism, thuggery and political violence.
Mr Katambi Ndurubula, Deputy Commander, NDLEA in Gombe State, called for the establishment of more rehabilitation centres to take care of the increasing cases of drug addiction in the region.