The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has said that some news portals have totally misquoted the UNODC views in the presentation at the public hearing on 'The need to check the rising menace of pharmaceutical drugs abuse amongst youth in Nigeria' held on March 26.
Sylvester Atere, Outreach and Communications Officer, has distanced the organisation from the news making rounds that it had called for the decriminalisation of cannabis in Nigeria.
Atere added that "To keep the record straight, on invitation by the Senate Committee on Drugs and Narcotics, UNODC made a presentation at the public hearing and reiterated the following recommendations contained in 2017 International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) report, where the Board urges all governments to:
(a) Gather data on the prevalence of drug-use disorders and the accessibility and utilisation of treatment;
(b) Invest in making treatment and rehabilitation evidence-based;
(c) Allocate sufficient resources to treatment and rehabilitation, the two major components of demand reduction;
(d) Pay particular attention to special population groups;
(e) Share, nationally and internationally, best practices and build capacity;
(f) Stimulate research into new interventions."
UN has three International drug conventions that don't support the use of several drugs harmful to the health of people including cannabis. Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1961 as amended by the 1972 Protocol; Convention on Psychotropic Substances, 1971; UN Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances 1988.
As of 2018, some of the countries with the lenient cannabis laws were Australia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Czech Republic, India, Israel, Jamaica, Mexico, the Netherlands, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Uruguay, and some U.S. jurisdictions.