Ilora: A people’s romance with hemp

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“We smoke ‘weed’ to get inspired, others”

By Jimoh Abdullahi

The culture of smoking “weed” widely known as Marijuana or cannabis Sativa in Ilora community seems inherent due to the large number of people, most especially, the youth who can use the last penny on them in an attempt to get a wrap of it.

Ilora is an ancient town, which shares a tight frontier with Oyo Alafin; it is a rural area in Afijo Local Government, Oyo State. The common occupation of its dwellers is farming as well as art and craft of different kinds while white collar job serves as alternative.

Although, it sounds hyperbolic to restrict the ugly trend to the community alone as same can be said of towns within the neighbourhood, according to findings.

Oyo Alafin plays host to larger number of weed smokers, who can be found in Iseke, Akesan market axis and others while Fiditi, Jobele, Awe and a host of others are not left out.

In Ilora, the wave of smoking the weed takes a tempestuous and nuisance dimension. Smokers can be sighted at nearly every nook and cranny of the community. In fact, they can even be seen impenitently exhaling and puffing out the stenchy smoke of the weed.

Investigation was conducted at the isolated areas where prospective consumers patronize the dealers of the illicit drug. They include “Aba Boola”; grace poly area, Atake Oja isale axis, under banana trees Aloba Lawoyin, Oja- Oke area , and some other obscure areas such as dilapidated houses at Molete compound and a host of others.

However, as the world celebrated International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking on Saturday June 26, Highprofile conducted separate interviews with a few weed consumers, which showcased the reason behind the individuals addiction to smoking.

One of them, a 23 year-old, who craved anonymity, said he smoked not only weed but also shisha.

“I smoke weed anytime I feel downcast and it works for me. Am l not supposed to have girlfriend?l at my age? And another reason is that it makes my brain function well. After smoking, I quickly grasp any book I read. And I have control over it because I smoke a pint of it and this can’t overwhelm me.

“For shisha, it has a propitious scent. If a lady smells it from you, she will like it. “

Another respondent, who identified self
simply as “Akon” said, he likes smoking weed during cold weather and when feeling lonely.

“If I smoke, it reflects in my body; it gingers me and I look strong. It also energises me. I feel no pain when doing an arduous work.

“Many people have misconstrued some weed smokers to be miscreants or ruffians but not all of them. A policeman that I work with do give us at times some wraps of weed he seizes from others to us. As a matter of fact, some policemen do smoke and even collect bribe when they raid the weed smokers hideouts. A bag of weed worths N200,000.00; it is very profitable business. I once helped to sell it before”.

An anonymous respondent said, ” I turned out to be an addict weed smoker at age nine when I lost both my parents”.

The revelations from the respondents showed that a number weed smokers do so out of ignorance without coming to realize the danger it poses.

It is therefore the responsibility of government and stakeholders to organize enlightenment campaigns at homes, schools and colleges, probably once in a month to educate, particularly the youth and the young ones. The measure, if adopted, would curb the menace of mentally challenged people and have them reduced to the barest minimum.

Stakeholders in the society should be ready to assist the government through the establishment of a charity foundation for indigent people, especially the orphans so that they won’t be exposed to depression, which may lure them to social vices, and taking cognizant of the fact that the devil looks after his own, while at the same time, makes work for hands.

Jimoh Abdullahi reports for Highprofile

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