The Chairman of the Ekiti State Forestry Commission, Mr Kayode Olaosebikan has warned that continued cultivation of cannabis particularly in forest reserves would hinder the growth of economic trees purposely planted in the areas.
Olaosebikan gave the warning while reacting to the recent discovery of about 10 hectares of cultivated cannabis ready for harvesting and valued at several millions of naira by the state task force at Ise Forest Reserve in Ise-Emure Local Government Area of the state.
Olaosebikan said that the suspected cannabis plantation was discovered during an inspection visit to the area by the task force team and stressed that the cannabis capable of preventing the growth of economic trees for more than 12 years.
He added that continued illegal cultivation of cannabis would also “increase regular use and obviously escalate cannabis-related harms, such as cannabis dependence and use disorders, motor vehicle crashes caused by cannabis-impaired drivers, emergency medical attendances, psychoses and depression, and cognitive impairment and poor educational outcomes in adolescent users.”
Reiterating the zero tolerance of the state government to cannabis cultivation in the state, Olaosebikan said no stone would be left unturned, “towards making recalcitrant growers of the illicit drug face the full wrath of the law and flushing out all vices inimical to the general wellbeing of the people.”
The commission chairman assured residents that all unlawful plantations in the state would be destroyed and economic trees would be appropriately planted adding, ”the state will be returned to its pride of place in forestry activities amongst the comity of states.”
He, therefore, urged all stakeholders to support the government’s effort by promptly informing relevant government agencies of any suspicious activity or action that may hinder the efforts of the government to develop the state and improve the welfare of the people.