Legalize it! Sauti Sol joins chorus on relaxation of Marijuana laws

Open-ended statement lends support to latest move by Rwanda

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  • Early this week, Rwanda approved the cultivation and export of Marijuana
  • Growth, sale and distribution of the drug is a $345 billion global market
  • Late Kibra MP Ken Okoth had tried to legalise it in Kenya with Marijuana Control Bill 2018

 

Popular music group Sauti Sol has joined the debate on Kenya’s Marijuana laws.

The group issued an open-ended statement on Twitter, in what can be construed to mean support for relaxation of existing strict laws. “Heavenly father we see what you’re doing in Rwanda.”

Earlier this week, Rwanda approved the cultivation and export of Marijuana. The country hopes to tap into the $345 billion (Ksh37 trillion) global market.

Sauti Sol are arguably Kenya’s most successful music group. Bien-Aimé Baraza, Willis Chimano, Savara Mudigi and Polycarp Otieno are its members.

Penal Code

Marijuana, also known as Cannabis or Weed, is a considered a narcotic in Kenya. Its cultivation, possession and use are a criminal offence under the Penal Code. One can be jailed from between 10 and 20 years, if convicted. The drug is however widely used (or abused), often clandestinely.

Late Kibra MP Ken Okoth. He died of cancer in July, 2019
Late Kibra MP Ken Okoth. He died of cancer in July, 2019 and was a champion for legalisation of cannabis for medicinal use. PHOTO/FILE

In recent past, the clamour for lifting restrictions on use of the stimulant has gone up a notch higher. Before his death in July, 2019, Kibra MP Ken Okoth had written to National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi, petitioning for the legalisation of use. The Marijuana Control Bill 2018 sought to draw up regulations on the stimulant’s growth and use.

Medicinal Value

Scientists have hailed the drug’s medicinal value. Research shows that it’s effective in fighting chronic pain, some cancers, glaucoma, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and depression among others.

Lesotho, South Africa and Zimbabwe are some of the African countries that have relaxed rules on the drug’s medicinal and recreational use.

 

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