Government faults efforts to legalize Marijuana

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Nairobi,KENYA:The government has faulted the move by a section of activists to push for the legalization of Cannabis Sativa in the country citing it as unconstitutional.

Addressing the members of press in Nairobi, government spokesman Eric Kiraithe noted that the government has learned that there is an ongoing public debate spearheaded by individuals advocating for the legalization of cannabis sativa which he termed as a misinformation that effect that Marijuana is not harmful.

“The government wants every person to know that the drug (Bangi) is prohibited in the country by law and every person growing, trading, trafficking or otherwise dealing with it will be regarded as a criminal.” Kiraithe Said.

Kiraithe said that, the drug is highly addictive and has been scientifically proven to have a lasting adverse social and psychological effect on all users since it’s a narcotic drug.

” As we begin school holiday, we wish to inform all Kenyans especially parents and the youth attending high schools and colleges that cannabis sativa is a narcotic drug.” Said Kiraithe.

The government is said to believe that the drug is being used an entry point to the use of more lethal narcotic drugs like heroin and cocaine.

” Let me in a particular address myself to the youth: bangi is the entertainment of social misfits and those preparing for failure in life.” He added.

The government spokesman further said that the justification that the drug is used for medical purposes is highly misrepresented since all active ingredients are scientifically extracted, measured and stored in highly specialized equipment and administered for certain diagnosed illness on a strict dosage regime in highly controlled environments.

The remark comes after a Kenyan petitioned the Senate in push for marijuana, popularly known as bhang, to be legalized in the country.

Gwada Ogot, from Siaya County, argues in part that the plant – scientifically known as Cannabis Sativa – has multiple documented benefits. He says the medicinal and industrial uses of the plant, upon its legalization, will be of ‘great social and economic gains’.

Section 3 (2) (a) of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Control Act lists cannabis as a banned substance. The law states that possession or personal use of the drug is criminal.

And Ogot wants marijuana expunged from the list and a new law legislated to establish a regulatory body to govern its use.

The petitioner further recommends that all the people serving jail sentences either for possession, cultivation, transportation, sale or use of the plant be granted amnesty.

The Senate’s Committee on Health was tasked to review the petition and respond to Ogot within 60 days.

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