Illicit Drug Use;New threat to peace

Increasing number of Indian hemp smokers acrossNigeriahas raised new security and health concerns in the country.

But Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in the state, ASP Samuel Oodee, said that the police are doing their best to curtail massive indulgence of youths inImoStatein the drug.

Christian Voice learnt that growers of the weed, which is also known as marijuana or cannabis, are smiling to the banks as they are appear to have overwhelmed law enforcement agencies.

The incidence of use and dealership, according to a concerned school teacher, is giving security agencies responsible for checking hard drug abuse in the country some sleepless nights.

Speaking to our reporter on phone, ASP Oodee challenged the public to bring the hemp dealers’ hideouts in Imo to the attention of the police.

He said that on daily basis, the police undertaken raids on the black spots. He did not however give statistics of the number of arrests made.

Oodee, did not link the increasing indulgence of youths in the hard drug to crime rate, saying that many hardened criminals do not take drugs just as there are those who take drugs but do not indulge in violent crime.

Besides, there is no substantial increase in crime inImoStateas compared to other states and the incidence of Indian hemp case cannot be linked to crime rate,” he said.

Parents are unhappy that their teenage children are smoking marijuana investigations revealed that the bulk of the  weed consumed in the state is smuggled from neighbouring states in bags of garri and grains.

A network of dealers, Christian Voice learnt, get their supplies in their hideouts in the remote villages where teenagers freely smoke. Some who grow the drug in urban areas put it in flower pots, while others are mixed up with ornarnental flowers in the nurseries.

A secondary school teacher in Owerri West local government area lamented that school children now indulge in hemp smoking to the detriment of their future.

“The worst is that traditional rulers are not doing much about it. Even the police should improve on their spying techniques so as to find the hideouts themselves, rather than wait for informants”, he said.

Our reporter who visited the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) office ofAba Road, Owerri, observed that the cells were filled with suspects undergoing rehabilitation and investigation.

The head of the agency in Imo, however, declined to speak.


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