Parliament is set to legalize cannabis for industrial and medicinal purposes, however, Sheikh Shaibu says the process needs to tarry for a while to allow communities to be affected by the legalisation be thoroughly sensitised and have their say.

“Matters of drugs generally must be considered an issue of worry because of the consequence and the effect it has on the users. And so such matter for us to legalize it requires that we actually have to deepen and broaden the consultations so that the communities that are going to be affected will be well informed about the policy choice we are making now about the legalization of the cannabis,” he said on JoyNews’ PM Express.

According to him, the scope of consultation has not been broad enough, and there has been little to no education concerning what the cannabis bill seeks to legalize.

“So for me there is a certain kind of discomfort and trepidation about the free legalization of substance abuse,” he said.

Sheikh Shaibu further expressed concern about the seeming lack of assurance in respect to the fight against substance abuse.

According to him, there is no indication as to the success of the fight against drugs in the country, thus further legalizing a drug – even for industrial use – is a matter of grave concern.

“So now that we’re now going to open the door for legalizing cannabis, having in mind that our youth have the strong propensity for taking the cannabis, we have no assurance that there is a certain enforcement regime that can guarantee the protection of our young people. So from the beginning that is the initial worry or discomfort,” he said.

“Knowing what drugs do to the human person and cannabis is only one of the drugs we’re talking about here, then we need to tread cautiously on that path,” he concluded.