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Indian hemp tops on illicit drugs consumed in Delta – Commandant

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By Nosa Akenzua,

The Delta state commandant, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Mr Dennis Obiefule, says findings revealed that the consumption of Indian Hemp has not only been on the increase but tops in the rating of illicit drugs consumed in the state.

Obiefule made the revelation on Thursday in an interview with our correspondent in Ogwashi-Uku, headquarters of Aniocha South local government area.

Obiefule, describedd the trend as disturbing and attributed the increased consumption of the drug to increased demand and cultivation of the substance in the state.

He said a total of 1,773.55 kilogrammes of different drugs were seized in the past three months, adding that from the figures, Indian hemp amounted to 1,772.72 kilogrammes, cocaine 141 grammes, heroin 58 grammes, methamphetamine 68 grammes and psychotropic drugs 534 grammes.

The NDLEA boss disclosed that between January and March 2021, the command arrested 74 persons, made up of 59 males and 15 females. 

The agency, according to him, was handling the challenge in line with its mandate of drug supply reduction and drug demand reduction. 

He said drug supply reduction had to do with the arrest, investigation and prosecution of those involved in trafficking, cultivation or production of illicit and controlled substances. 

The command, he further stated, embarked on Indian Hemp farms destruction on March 20, 2021 in Oko-Anala and Oko-Ogbele in Oshimili South local government area, adding that a total of 61.3 hectares of cannabis sativa farm (Indian hemp) was destroyed in the exercise. He revealed that most of the farms were into commercial production. 

Obiefule said another aspect of drug supply reduction was prosecution of drug traffickers, saying that between January and March 2021, the command secured 12 convictions at the Federal High Courts in Asaba and Warri. 

He said the command had counselled 11 persons (drug abusers) and embarked on five days of drug abuse preventive lectures.   

Obiefule said that the idea behind the destruction of farms was to prevent the people from harvesting their illicit drug and was equally to take the fight to the source, instead of waiting for them to harvest. 

He appealed to the public to support the command by supplying it information to enable their effective performance. 

While saying that the agency could not address the drug problems alone, he said it needed the support of well-meaning people in the society and governments at all levels.

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