By Oludare Richards, Abuja / The Guardian

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has canvassed strong drug laws in Central and West Africa owing to the effects of hard substances on both regions.

Obasanjo, who is also chair of the West Africa Commission on Drugs (WACD) and member of the Global Commission on Drug Policy, said if the counsel is unheeded, drug cartels could undermine democracy and the rule of law in “our countries.”

He spoke during a virtual town hall meeting co-hosted by the Global Commission on Drug Policy, WACD, and the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU).

“It is the poor and vulnerable who suffer the most from harsh drug laws. The rich have the means to defend themselves,” he said. Obasanjo added that harsh laws were needed to deter drug abuse.”

In addition, the ex-leader called for the adoption of the WACD Model Drug Law by member states, noting that it balances the use of drugs between criminal justice and health by recommending soft punishments. Hence, he called on Members of Parliaments (MPs) to adopt a more progressive discussion on drug use in their countries.