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United Nations office denies urging decriminalizing cannabis in Nigeria


Country Representative, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Cristina Albertin (left); Project Coordinator, Response to drugs and related organised crime, Glen Prichard; Assistant Comptroller of Immigration, Chukwuemeka Obua and National Project Officer, Outreach and Communications, UNODC, Sylvester Tunde Atere during their courtesy visit to the Rutam House headquarters of The Guardian in Lagos … yesterday. PHOTO: SUNDAY AKINLOLU<br />

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has denied that it called for the decriminalization of cannabis in Nigeria.According to the Outreach and Communications Officer, Mr. Sylvester Atere, the news totally misquoted UNODC’s views, warning that this could jeopardize the long existing relationship with Nigeria.

In a statement in Abuja, Atere, during a Senate Committee on Drugs and Narcotics, public hearing on the need to check the rising menace of pharmaceutical drugs abuse among youths in Nigeria, UNODC never said what was reported in the media.

UNODC stressed that on invitation by the Committee, it made a presentation and reiterated the following recommendations contained the 2017 International Narcotics Control latter (INCB) report, where the Board urges all governments to gather data on prevalence of drug-use disorders and the accessibility and utilization of treatment, invest in making treatment and rehabilitation evidence-based, allocate sufficient resources to treatment and rehabilitation, the two major components of demand reduction, pay particular attention to special population groups, share, nationally and internationally, best practices and build capacity and stimulate research into new interventions.

He said: “Our representative clearly stated that legalization of Cannabis is not supported by the three UN international drug conventions (Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1961 as amended by the 1972 Protocol; Convention on Psychotropic Substances, 1971; UN convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances 1988). The UNODC did not urge Nigeria to legalize cannabis.”


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Sylvester AtereUNODC
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