Former NACADA boss John Mututho has dismissed the push by Kibra Member of Parliament Ken Okoth to have bhang legalized in Kenya.
Mututho while addressing the media at his JOMEC rehabilitation centre in Nakuru on Thursday said that the bill is aimed at creating a criminal enterprise.
He said that it was shameful for a two time member of parliament who is aware of the effects of cannabis sativa to draft such a bill.
In a letter to National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi, Okoth further wants all criminal records against Kenyans with past convictions of marijuana use be withdrawn and amnesty measures instituted.In the letter dated September 21st, the MP wants the National Assembly to regulate the growing and safe use of marijuana.
Mututho noted that while the bill proposes formation of a board to regulate the use of bhang, there is no provision to have any person in the security sector in the board adding that it will be difficult for the board to have the muscle to handle violators of the law.
Okoth also wants the government to fund research and policy development on growth and use of bhang for medical, industrial, textile and recreational purposes “with a focus on preservation of intellectual property rights for Kenyan research and natural heritage, knowledge and our indigenous plant assets.”
He argues that legalizing marijuana will boost the economy and provide jobs to hundreds of unemployed population.But according to Mututho, despite bhang having been said to contain substances that reduce pain, there were many underlying dangers which cannot be ignored just because of a single unproven benefit.
“Despite bhang having been said to contain substances that reduce pain, there were many underlying dangers which cannot be ignored just because of a single unproven benefit” said Mututho.
While giving an example of his JOMEC rehabilitation centre, Mututho said that bhang addicts take about six to nine months to heal compared to alcohol addicts who take about three weeks to heal.
He said that bhang smokers are dangerous people and difficult to manage and if bhang is legalized in Kenya then it means negative effects on the economy.