It is known by several names, including marijuana, ganja, Indian hemp, and weed. In Nigeria, it is called Igbo, gbana, kaya, and wee wee in the local parlance. Long regarded for its medical benefits, Cannabis has been abused and used for recreation around the world for a long time. Nigeria has witnessed its own explosion of cannabis abuse in recent times, with young people smoking its green leaves to get high or as the Americans call it; stoned!
In Nigeria, the use of Cannabis is illegal. However, despite its medical and cosmetological benefits, Cannabis remains a menace in the country due to its abundance and tendency to get its users high and addicted. According to the Encyclopedia Wikipedia, Nigeria is the eight largest consumer of Cannabis. The plant is widely grown in the following states:
The sunshine state is arguably the largest producer of weed in the country. The Benin Ore road has a large concentration of hemp farms, with many bursts by the NDLEA recorded there. On September 25, 2017, media sources reported that the Nigerian army had intercepted and arrested 2 men who were moving cannabis from Ondo state to Lagos at the Owena checkpoint. On October 23, a media report by the Daily Times indicated that the passion for Cannabis farming in the state was leading to deforestation as weed plantation covered over 5,000 hectares of arable land in Ala forest, Akure North Local government. With the discovery of what is arguably the largest cannabis plantation in the world, Ondo State takes over from Ekiti as the largest producer.
Widely known as the largest producer of weed in Nigeria prior to 2015, the National Drug Law Enforce Agency (NDLEA) says its sustained crackdown has significantly reduced the quantity of cannabis produced in the state. Nevertheless, 246 tonnes of cannabis were discovered and destroyed in Ekiti in August, 2017
This Southwestern state is also one of the largest producers of weed. As the NDLEA ramps up its fight against marijuana abuse, Oyo has suddenly fallen under its searchlight. In February 2017, channels TV reported that the NDLEA confiscated over 1,000 kilograms of fresh cannabis seed meant for 2017 planting season in Ogbomoso, Oyo State, while conducting a stop and search. On June 16, 2017, men of the NDLEA discovered 24 hectares of cannabis plantation found at the Gambari forest reserve in Ibadan.
Like its neighbour to the west, Edo state has a large concentration of cannabis farms. Many of these are located around the border along the Ore-Benin road. In April 2017, the Punch reported that 60 males and 13 females had been apprehended in Edo State with 10,094.75kgs of cannabis between January and March 2016. In August 2017, the NDLEA destroyed over 37 hectares of cannabis plantation worth about 1.7billion naira in Owan East, Owan West, Uhunmwonde and Ovia North-East Local Government areas of the state.
From discussions among youths on online forums and in hang outs, it is easy to conclude that Osun State produces the highest quality of weed. This is because of the frequent reference to the effect of the so-called ‘Oshogbo weed’, made popular by memes on forums such as Nairaland and Nigeria Adult forum. Like its mother state, Osun produces a great deal of cannabis as reports have shown. As the NDLEA steps up its fight against Cannabis farming, the agency discovered and destroyed 16 hectares of cannabis farm in the state on Oct 4, 2017.
- Delta State
Like its neighbour, Edo, Delta State produces a large amount of cannabis. Although, still largely hidden from the authorities, the thriving marijuana sales market in Delta state is one of the largest in the country and there are areas in the state known specifically for the cultivation of the crop. Although, reports of drug bursts are not rampant like in Ondo and Ekiti states, there have been a couple of cases in the last 3 years. In June 2016, the NDLEA destroyed over 100 hectares of cannabis farm in Ndokwa west area of the state.