The Ondo State government has said it has not yet legalised the cultivation of cannabis in the state.
Yemi Olowolabi, Ondo State Commissioner for Information, made the clarification following widespread media reports during the week that Rotimi Akeredolu, the state governor, was advocating for the growth of the drug in the state.
Governor Akeredolu, who was in Thailand with Muhammad Abdallah, Chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) last week, had called on the Federal Government to make the cultivation of cannabis for medical purposes legal.
The comments drew a lot of reaction, especially from the Presidential Advisory Committee for the Elimination of Drug Abuse who implicitly warned the governor against promoting such idea.
But in its reaction, the Ondo State government, via Owolabi, said the proposal is still at an “elementary stage”, adding that several measures would have to be taken before cannabis cultivation is legalised.
Owolabi noted that the involvement of the NDLEA in the discussion indicates the willingness of the Federal Government to corporate with the state government on the matter.
He said, “We are still at the elementary stage of this matter. Before we legalise cannabis growing in this state, it has to pass through certain procedures and we have begun the procedures.
“The assistance we seek from the Federal Government is the collaboration we already have with the NDLEA, which is an agency of the government.
“Since we are dealing with the NDLEA, we are dealing with the Federal Govaernment.”