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The hidden dangers of weed and why young people still tread the green path

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Weed is illegal in Nigeria, but is still widely used, especially by young people.

Smoking weed is a concerning trend that can have serious negative effects on young people’s health and future. Unfortunately, despite its classification as a dangerous drug under the Dangerous Drugs Act in Nigeria, its prevalence remains high.

Indian Hemp, commonly referred to as ‘weed’, ‘kush’ or ‘loud’ is specifically listed by the law as a dangerous drug. This includes any plant or part of a plant of the genus cannabis.

According to the Dangerous Drugs Act, the possession of this substance is deemed a criminal offence, punishable by “imprisonment for a term of not less than four years”. For offenders aged seventeen or younger, the penalty is 21 strokes of the cane, plus two years in a borstal or similar institution, or payment of a fine.

In reality, however, cases of possession and use rarely make it to court due to widespread corruption. In fact, despite the harshness of the law, the use of cannabis is common. A report in The Telegraph found that the country ranked third in the world in terms of number of people who consume it.

Why do young people still use weed in Nigeria?

There are a few reasons for this:

  1. Weed is easily available and affordable: Weed is grown in many parts of Nigeria, and it is easy to buy and sell. It is also quite affordable, especially compared to other drugs like cocaine and heroin.
  2. Weed is seen as a social drug: It is used at parties, events, and clubs, and seen as a way to relax and have fun with friends.
  3. Some young people believe that weed is not harmful: There is a misconception among some young people that weed is not harmful because it is a natural drug.  

What are the dangers of smoking weed?

  1. What are the dangers of smoking weed? 
  2. Weed can trigger anxiety and heighten paranoia
  3. Smoking too much can mess with your memory and impair your cognitive functions.
  4. Smoking weed poses risks to your respiratory system, potentially leading to chronic bronchitis and other complications.
  5. For those with underlying heart conditions, the temporary spike in heart rate after smoking can be deadly.
  6. There’s also the risk of addiction and psychological dependence, impacting one’s ability to live without relying on weed.

Writer’s note

I understand that sometimes things can get tough, and weed might be an escape from all the many problems in your life. But, there are better ways to cope with stress that do not involve smoking or ingesting unhealthy substances.

If you are struggling with weed addiction, help is available. Many treatment programs are accessible to help you quit weed and get your life back on track.

This journey is yours, and every choice you make shapes it.

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