By: Ade Adeleke
Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State and the Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria (ACPN) have agreed to pursue a common front for the use of cannabis for health and economic purposes in Nigeria.
The Association-led by its National President, Pharmacist Samuel Adekola therefore vowed that it will ensure it sponsors a private member bill at the National Assembly for the legalisation of the cannabis plant for pharmaceutical purposes as obtainable in western world.
This information emerged yesterday in Akure, the Ondo state capital when Akeredolu played host to members of the National Executive Council of the ACPN in his office.
ACPN National leadership is in Ondo State for a two-day familiarisation with members, and visitation of the state government’s project sites.
Receiving the community pharmacists, Governor Akeredolu explained that cannabis could also be used to boost the economy from its present state.
“The way things are going now, the world is moving ahead of us. It is for us to expand our economy in order to get out of this economic quagmire.
“Cannabis is something we can export to make money from. The important thing is to look at the beneficial use, and work against preventing abuse,” Akeredolu said.
Earlier, Dr Samuel Adekola, President, ACPN, said the association had come to take up the advocacy on the issue of beneficial use of cannabis to people, adding that governor Akeredolu was making sense with his advocacy for the health and commercial benefits of cannabis.
Adekola explained that it was ignorance or lack of vision that made the people raised objection when the governor suggested the use of cannabis for its health benefits.
“For us, as pharmacists, we have come to take this advocacy seriously and we believe that this project will soon be able to benefit the people of the state and the country in general.
“So many people could be employed through cannabis and the medicinal benefits of this product is too numerous to be mentioned,” he said.
“May be because the agitation is coming from a politician, we are taking it up now ad professionals, countries like Canada are already using cannabis for health and production of drugs. We must take up this.
“We shall sponsor a bill or use our members who are in the National Assembly (as lawmakers) to push for a legal framework to ensure that Nigeria takes full benefit of commercial plants like cannabis,” Adekola opined.