Inside Kwara Factory were Indian Hemp Smoking is ‘Legalized’
NEWS DIGEST – Going by the the provisions of the Nigerian law, Hillcrest Agro-Allied industries, a Rice processing company in Amberi village of Kwara state should be charged to court under the Indian Hemp Act of 1966 for not curtailing the excesses of Indian Hemp smokers in the factory.
“Any person who, being the occupier of any premises, permits those premises to be used for selling, smoking and preparing Indian hemp, shall be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term of not less than ten years without the option of a fine:” Section 7 of the law stated.
Hillcrest Agro-Allied Industry, one of the group of companies owned by a former Deputy Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mrs Sarah Alade, permits the smoking of cigarettes as well as the prohibited Indian hemp by workers within its vicinity.
As confirmed by NEWS DIGEST journalist, these workers, mostly saddled with the responsibility of loading and offloading of processed and unprocessed grains in trucks and other Herculean tasks, smoke indian hemp at will.
This has been going on for a lengthy period to the extent that Indian hemp, popularly encoded as ‘Jedi’ amongst the workers, is always part of the food menu list when a worker is sent to get food for others at night.
Middle aged Bello Wasiu, one of the casual workers, who spoke with our correspondent, explained the high-level of drug abuse allowed in the premises of the industry unlike his former workplace.
“The company believes that smoking Indian hemp aids the job done by the workers. So, there is no regulation against the act here.”
“In fact, there was a day the General Manager was around while workers were smoking and he did not caution the smokers.” Sheriff, another casual worker added.
Mr. Sam, a staff of the company at the cutting section also commented on indiscriminate smoking of indian hemp in various section of the firm, stating that most staff work under the influence of Tramadol, cigarette and other hard drug.
A senior staff, who refused to disclose his identity for the fear of being relieved of his job, confirmed the development to the News Digest.
He said: “It has been like that before I was employed here and there has been no moves to stop that. The management feel it’s harmless so far it doesn’t affect their work.”
Tanya Ismail, one of the workers who directed the journalist to the selling point of the prohibited substance, said; like most of his colleagues, he can’t work without smoking indian hemp, claiming it gives him the energy to function.
In a visit to the seller’s stall, the young woman refused to disclose her identity but she revealed that the Hillcrest workers form a reasonable percentage of her customer.
“They patronize me well well.” She replied to the quest about the level of their patronage.
Meanwhile, asides legal implications, a publication of the World health organisation in 2016, highlighted driving impairment, respiratory and lungs diseases and many others as the side effects of smoking Indian hemp also referred to as Cannabis.
“long-term cannabis use is a contributory cause of the following health outcomes: dependence, cognitive impairment, mental disorders (psychoses, depression, anxiety and suicidal behaviour), and adverse physical health effects such as cardiovascular disease (CVD), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and respiratory and other cancers.”
However, the industry through its hot line respondent has refused to comment on the issue after several calls and texts put across.
“The General Manager will call you.” the speaking voice assured NEWS DIGEST . Many days have gone by without a response from the management of Hillcrest.
Share your views in the comments section below.
Follow us on Twitter: @thenewsdigestng