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Reps Hold Heated Debate Over Fresh Bill To Legalise Marijuana

There was an intense debate at the House of Representatives on Wednesday, over a bill seeking to legalise cultivation, sale and use of cannabis, also known as marijuana, for commercial purposes.

The fresh bill was sponsored by two members of the House, Benjamin Kalu and Olumide Osoba, and it seeks to amend the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act, to expand the scope of the anti-narcotics agency to issue licences for the cultivation, sale and use of marijuana.

The proposed legislation was titled “A Bill for an Act to Amend the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act, Cap. N30, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 to confer additional Responsibility of the power to grant and revoke licenses for the cultivation of Cannabis (or any of its three species namely Cannabis Sativa, Cannabis Indicia and Cannabis Ruderalis) Plant for Medicinal purposes; and for Related Matters (HBs. 1190 & 1918)”.


Rep. Benjamin Kalu moved for the second reading of the Bill but Rep while Miriam Onuoha raised a Point of Order that she had sponsored a similar Bill and hers should also have been consolidated and recognized.

Rep. Nkem Abonta called for understanding from Rep. Miriam Onuoha due to legislative time factor. He urged that the Bill should be taken and Rep. Onuoha should be incorporated.

Speaking on the matter, Rep. Abubakar Yalleman called for the stepping down of the Bill to accommodate Rep. Miriam Onuoha, however, Rep. Abubakar Fulata stated that the amendments of Onuoha’s Bill and the current Bill may differ.

Intervening, Rep. Sada Soli went on to point out that there are indeed some differences between the consolidated Bill and that of Rep. Miriam Onuoha.

Making further clarifications, the Speaker of the House, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila, said the subject matter seems similar enough and the House should err on the side of caution.

He also stated that thoroughness cannot be sacrificed on the altar of time-factor, though it is understandable that time really is of the essence as the House has tonnes to achieve in the short time available to it.

Rep. Gbajabiamila called on all parties to harmonize their views before the next legislative day.

The Bill was then stepped down for further legislative action.

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