July 21, 2019

Kenya now seeks to legalize marijuana/weed

By Nation Media

Police officers inspect bhang valued at Sh1.5 million that was seized in Changamwe, Mombasa County, on June 9, 2016. A petition seeking to legalise bhang has been presented to the Senate. FILE PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Post last updated on 4/6/2017

A petitioner pushing for the legalization of marijuana in Kenya has continued to criticize the law criminalizing the drug.

Gwada Ogot, told the senate health committee Thursday, that weed species criminalized in law does not really exist in Kenya, and that those jailed for use or possession of marijuana could have been illegally jailed.

“Marijuana is not a narcotic drug. Even our constitution is not clear on it because we talk about cannabis sativa (industrial hemp) but what we have in Kenya is cannabis indica and that has an impact on the law,” Said Ogot.

Ogot said that there are three variants of cannabis; cannabis indica (marijuana), cannabis Sativa and cannabis ruderalis. He told the senate that Cannabis Indica, which is promptly accessible in the nation can be utilized for health restoration purposes, diminishing the weight of most illnesses in people.

He continued to argue that marijuana is way less addictive when compared to other popular drugs in the country such as tobacco, which has more health damaging effects on health.

“Marijuana leads to dependence in around 9-10 percent of its users, cocaine leads to about 20 percent and heroine 25 percent. Tobacco is the worst culprit with 30 per cent of its users becoming addicted,” he said.

Ogot contended that there was a conspiracy in grouping cannabis indica in Schedule I notwithstanding many other different drugs with extreme impacts being arranged in lower plans.

 He went ahead to say that industrial hemp and marijuana are industries on their own, and in view of joblessness in the country, he believes it’s a taxman’s dream to have an industry that is multi billion in prospect and can contribute to the national kitty while providing employment.

Possession of marijuana is legal in many countries today, including many parts of USA, South Africa, Uruguay, and  some private areas in Spain

The senate health committee will invite members of the public, health specialists and economy experts for deliberation before presenting a final report to the Senate