City MP in new push for legalisation of bhang
Kibra MP Ken Okoth has joined the campaign to legalise the use and cultivation of cannabis sativa in Kenya.
MP Okoth has written to the National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi to facilitate him in preparing a Bill, the Marijuana Control Bill, which seeks to decriminalize the growth and use of the stimulant in the country.
The second time lawmaker also wants amnesty measures instituted for the removal of criminal records against citizens with prior convictions of marijuana use.
PROMOTE JOB CREATION
He is also proposing progressive taxation measures for the marijuana industry to boost economic independence of Kenya and promote job creation.
“The purpose of this letter is therefore to request for assistance in preparation of the necessary Bill for publication, a working draft is hereby attached…,” said Mr Okoth in the letter dated September 21, 2018.
In the draft Bill, the legislator is seeking to have a regulation for the growth and safe use of the stimulant, including the registration of growers, producers, manufacturers and users.
Mr Okoth also wants research and policy development done on the growth and use of the stimulants for medical, industrial and recreational purposes, with special focus on preservation of intellectual property rights for Kenyan research and natural heritage, knowledge and indigenous plant assets.
MP Okoth’s draft Bill borrows heavily from Gwada Ogot from Siaya County who in February 2017 petitioned the Senate to have marijuana legalised in the country.
Last Friday, September 14, National Super Alliance (NASA) coalition leader Raila Odinga’s son, Raila Junior called on the government to legalise marijuana, saying that serious discussions on legalisation and control of marijuana needed to be held.
In March this year, a researcher petitioned the National Assembly’s Health Committee to legalise bhang claiming the country is losing Sh1.5 trillion annually in foreign exchange.
Mr Simon Mwaura, from Hyaquip Kenya—a science and innovation company—said bhang is not as bad as people have been made to believe pointing out that it is even more dangerous to smoke cigarettes than to smoke bhang.