CSO urges NASS to pass Cannabis Control Bill
Civil Society Organisation Stakeholders on Farming for Medical use Initiative (CSOF) has urged the National Assembly to give a serious consideration to the Cannabis Control Bill before it and pass it into law.
The group made the call in a statement issued by its Programme Manager, Johnson Omede, on Thursday in Abuja.
Omede commended the House of Representatives for taking the initiative of commencing the process to amend the Cannabis Farming Prohibition Law, with the introduction of the ‘Cannabis Control Bill’.
He described the bill, sponsored by member representing Isiala Mbano/Onuimo/Okigwe Federal Constituency of Imo, Princess Miriam Onuoha, as very strategic to unlocking the benefits of cannabis for medical purposes and only under stringent control processes and monitoring.
He urged the lawmakers to give the cannabis for medical purposes bill accelerated hearing.
Omede said there was no better time for the important draft legislation to be passed than now when Cannabidiol (CBD) Oil, a chemical in the Cannabis sativa plant, is being used for the treatment of COVID-19.
“There are over 80 chemicals, known as cannabinoids, that have been identified in the Cannabis sativa plant.
“In Israel, the Tel Aviv Hospital, Ichilov, has already gone ahead and started using CBD or the non-psychotropic parts of the cannabis plant against the novel coronavirus in a new study.
“A cannabis control law would have helped Nigeria to join in the clinical trial of Cannabidiol for COVID-19 treatment, as the country desperately searches for cure and the health sector is beginning to get overwhelmed and stressed.
“The farming of cannabis for health, and its uses as CBD oil for chemotherapy in cancer patients and for other health benefits in Nigeria, is capable of creating thousands of jobs in the country, and also earn us a significant foreign exchange from exportation,” he said.
Omede said that the bill had also addressed concerns and highlighted sanctions against abusers and make the regulatory agencies more responsible.
“We call on patriotic Nigerians to support this bill presented by a courageous woman so that Nigeria will not be left behind.
“Other countries, including Ghana, are moving in droves to regulate cannabis farming and restrict its use for controlled and monitored health treatments only,” he said.