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Crime

10.6m youths abuse drugs, menace fuelling insecurity, says NDLEA

Chairman of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brig.-Gen. Buba Marwa (rtd) has decried growing consumption of cannabis among youths, saying Nigerians now hosts 10.6 million young people, who abuse marijuana and other hard substances.

He made the shocking revelation while delivering a lecture on ‘Drug abuse among youths in Africa: Implications for Nigerian economy and 2023 elections’ at the 10th anniversary of Realnews, an online magazine, yesterday, in Lagos.

The former military administrator (MILAD) of Lagos State noted: “It is disturbing that abusing marijuana and alcohol is the new normal for youths, especially the Gen Z and even the Millenials. For parents, who are adept at using social media, Snapchat offers graphic details of what our young people are doing with alcohol and psychotropic drugs.”

He blamed the society for the rise in drug abuse among youths, stating: “Today, you have all sorts of pro-cannabis groups, movements and activists all over the place. They make it seem as if smoking cannabis is innocuous and not dangerous to health, and, therefore, should be an inalienable right of the smoker.

“Even some politicians and institutions, focused on the economic gains of cultivation of cannabis, are ready to liberalise commercialisation of the plant. All of these send mixed messages to young people.”

Marwa warned that legalisation of cannabis and related substances would spell doom for a country like Nigeria that is still struggling with developmental issues.

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