House Seeks Stiffer Punishments for Sellers, Smokers of Indian Hemp in Nigeria

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Udora Orizu in Abuja

A Bill seeking imprisonment and stiffer punishments for cultivators, sellers and smokers of cannabis otherwise called Indian hemp in Nigeria is currently before the House of Representatives.

The legislation titled: “Indian Hemp Act (Amendment) Bill, 2020 (HB. 1081),’’ is sponsored by the Majority Leader of the House, Hon. Alhassan Ado Dogowa.

The legislation which was read for the first time on October 20, 2020 is seeking to amend the contemporary Indian hemp Act to provide for stiffer punitive measures against promoters of the substance.

Speaking on the proposed legislation in Abuja, Doguwa said the bill would curb the abuse of Indian Hemp in the country.

He expressed optimism that the bill would be read for the second time in January, 2021 when the House resumes plenary.

He said, ‘’The bill is still awaiting 2nd reading. It’s intended to curb the menace and social vices borne by sellers and users of Indian hemp amongst our vulnerable youths in the society. Stiffer punishments would be provided. In some cases, imprisonment without an option to be able to eradicate it all in the country.

“Apart from the moral and social vices, the health implication is yet another serious problem that we must agree to fight. It will be read the second time as we resume next month Insha Allah. It was delayed because of so many executive Bills on my table that I needed to clear including the Money bill”.