Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i on Sunday, June 26, hit out at Roots Party presidential candidate George Wajackoyah over his push for the legalization of commercial marijuana.
In a statement read on his behalf by Interior Chief Administrative Secretary Winnie Guchu during the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, Matiang'i accused the good professor of misleading the youth.
He added that Wajackoyah, while citing examples of countries that had declared the use of the substance lawful, left out details on the control measures put into place.
"Regrettably, we have also observed leaders mobilising the youth through misinformation and false promises such as legalization of cannabis for commercial and recreational purposes if they are elected to office,"
"They have even cited countries that have legalised cannabis for recreational purposes without providing factual information on controls that have been put in place where such legalization has been allowed," the CS noted.
The CS further raised concerns over the spike in the use and abuse of marijuana among the youth following the conversation surrounding its validation within the law.
He noted that the drug remains illegal in Kenya and that the government would continue implementing the existing laws to ensure that the laws are heeded to the latter pending constitutional review.
"As government, cannabis remains a controlled substance with very clear penalties. Nobody should be led to violate Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic Substances Control Act and any other legalization in drug control. These laws remain in place and they are going to be observed," he added.
Meanwhile, the National Authority for the Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA) flagged the rise in drug abuse among school going children, with alcohol, tobacco and miraa listed as the most available substances.
Nonetheless, Wajackoyah continued with his calls for the bhang legalization during his political campaign rallies in Western Kenya. In Kakamega, he promised to uproot beautification flowers and replace them with weed.
During one of his rallies in Vihiga county, a supporter attempted to hand the presidential hopeful a freshly uprooted bhang plant - which Wajackoyah wittily turned down.
The Roots Party flag-bearer promised to initiate the exportation of the drug to countries such as China, noting that cannabis was a cash cow which could be milked to offset some of Kenya's loans.
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