Kenya could soon be among the few countries in the continent that have legalized cannabis, popularly known as “weed” if legislation regarding the same is passed.
Kibra MP Ken Okoth last week wrote to the National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi seeking facilitation in preparing the Marijuana Control Bill, which seeks to decriminalize the growth and use of Marijuana in the country.
According to Okoth, legalizing Marijuana will help boost job creation and economic independence as he has also proposed progressive taxation measures for the Marijuana industry.
The MP further wants all offenders of crimes associated with peddling or growing weed given amnesty.
In 2017 researcher Gwada Ogot first brought the Marijuana debate to the public limelight when he sought its legalization over its medical value.
Ogot while speaking to a Senate committee said the herb can cure up to 6,077 medical conditions.
He also added that Marijuana has ‘massive’ industrial uses.
Last week, a new research conducted by researchers at the University of Mexico (UNM) revealed that indeed the use of cannabis for medical use provides relief for dozens of health symptoms and has minimal side effects.
The study, which was published in two journals, Frontiers in Pharmacology and Medicines, was an observational research that drew findings from collecting data from patients who were using cannabis to treat various ailments like insomnia and chronic pain.
“The medicinal potential of this concept and practical application for treating so many and seemingly diverse health conditions is unlike that of any other single medication currently known to exist,”. The researchers said.
The study corresponds with similar ones conducted on the medicinal value of cannabis by various searchers across the globe.
Even though a good number of countries in the west have legalized marijuana for medical use, African countries have been slow to follow suit.
Last year, Lesotho became the continent’s first country to legalize marijuana. IN May 2018 Zimbabwe followed suite became the second African country to legalize growing marijuana for medicinal and research purposes.
South Africa is the latest African country to legalize private marijuana.
“It will not be a criminal offense for an adult person to use or be in possession of cannabis in private for his or her personal consumption,” Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo said.
In July this year, Canada also made history by passing the Cannabis Act, making it the first industrialized nation in the world (and only the second country overall, behind Uruguay) to pass legislation allowing adults to use marijuana. https://www.fool.com/investing/2018/07/21/these-30-countries-have-legalized-medical-marijuan.aspx
Former chairman of the National Agency for the Campaign against Drug Abuse (NACADA) John Mututho has however strongly opposed calls to legalize Marijuana in Kenya saying the move would be dangerous for the youth.
“Let’s have logic. Why do we have to legalize something that affects the functionality of the brain?” asked Mr Mututho.