The National Authority for the Campaign against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA) has urged politicians in the country to desist from misinforming the public about Marijuana.
In a press statement, NACADA says that the effects of Cannabis Sativa, popularly known as bhang, cannot be overlooked and thus remains prohibited in the country and should not be used.
“Let be known that the law is still in force and that anyone contravening this law i.e being in possession or trading in cannabis will be apprehended,” read the statement.
“During the electioneering period and prior, there have been calls for legalization of cannabis for recreational use. It is noted that some of the statements made in favour of legalization are misleading as they are intended to elicit excitements amongst the people, especially the youth.”
While citing a study by World Drug Report released last year, the state corporation noted that teenagers in the country are largely affected by the narcotic drug, which NACADA says is widely abused and results in immense effects.
“Data from a national survey conducted in 2017 showed that at least 1% of the country’s population aged between 15-65 years are current users of cannabis. Kenya has continued to suffer the devastating effects of cannabis as its abuse is on the rise, particularly amongst the youth,” NACADA stated.
“A survey conducted in 2019 to assess emerging trends in the abuse of drugs and substances of abuse showed overwhelming evidence on the abuse of cannabis in the form of cookies, candies and other forms of confectioneries.”
In the same light, NACADA underscored some of the negative health effects of bhang among them; vulnerability to addiction, respiratory diseases (lung cancer), cardiovascular conditions such as stroke, mental illnesses, impaired psychomotor skills and cognitive functions.
NACADA went on to highlight some of the key misleading statements that the corporation reiterates have led to increased cases of illicit trafficking and arrests. Among claims rubbished by the Authority include; that following the 2020 Voting, Cannabis is legalized, the majority of countries have legalized Cannabis and that there are only positive effects of its legalization.
Another ‘false’ statement that NACADA cautioned against is that you cannot access Cannabis for medical and scientific use.
The conversation around the legalization of marijuana in Kenya has gained new momentum following the entry of Roots Party presidential candidate George Wajackoyah in the State House race. Wajackoyah’s key agenda on his recently unveiled manifesto is the legalization of hemp as an ultimate way of transforming the eceonomy and settling the country’s ballooning debt.
Following his announcement which has elicited mixed reactions from the public, spiritual leaders and other stakeholders have come out to condemn his manifesto saying it will injure the ethical and health of the future.
Wajackoyah’s economics of marijuana have since been debunked by Africa Check, which terms found them as not adding up.
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