Cannabis is illegal in Nigeria but provides a living for families - study calls for rethink of drug laws

For most rural dwellers cannabis farming serves as a means of income generation and diversification to meet basic needs
The Conversation
Monday, August 28, 2023

nigeria cannabisCannabis is a heavily criminalised plant in Nigeria. It can get its growers, traders and users long prison sentences. The National Drug Law Enforcement Act prescribes an imprisonment of not less than 15 years for possession and use of cannabis. Yet its very illegality ensures high prices and makes it lucrative to grow. This research project is one of the few to explore the inside views of illicit cannabis farmers and traders in Africa. These insider views challenge the dominant story that the illicit cultivation and trade of cannabis is unproductive or driven by organised criminals. The main findings show that livelihoods are not only made from legal crops. In fact, it is illicit cannabis, with its illegality premium, that made a difference to our interviewees’ lives in Nigeria.