Former NACADA chairperson John Mututho on Tuesday opined on the ongoing talk about legalization of marijuana saying it will cause more harm than good.
Speaking during an interview with KTN News, Mututho called for more research to be employed saying cannabis potency differs from region to region and is dependent on a number of factors including altitude, soil, water and temperature.
He pointed out that the cannabis used for fibre in Europe has 0.2% of Tetrahydrocannabinoid (THC), a crystalline compound that is the main active ingredient of cannabis, as compared to the one in Kisii and other parts of the country that have 10.2%.
“The cannabis used for fibre somewhere in Europe…the potency is 0.2% of THC which is narcotic.
“What we have in Kisii is over 10.2% that is about 50 times more potent than what they are having in Europe. Are you saying now that you allow that one to grow and allow free usage?” he asked.
Adding: “We need thorough research. If it has to be grown it has to be grown for a purpose and with restrictions.”
Mututho stated that the variety that grows in Meru, Kisii, Ethiopia and some parts of Nakuru can have long-term effects on users and often causes wild imaginations and hallucinations.
“We cannot allow that variety we have in Meru, Kisii bits of Nakuru, Ethiopia…that thing that makes you so high, that thing that ruins your life. That thing that makes you look monstrous. That thing that makes you have so many hallucinations.
“You have seen them dive into a basin thinking it’s a swimming pool. You can’t allow it,” he remarked.
This comes just days after the Rastafari Society of Kenya (RSK) filed a case in court seeking to lift the law criminalising the use of marijuana.
In the case, filed before High Court, they argued that the law is unconstitutional for banning the private use of cannabis by persons professing the Rastafari faith.
The legal minds advocated for the state to let the Rastafarians use cannabis in their houses and places of worship; which the law says is illegal.
The Rastafarian lawyers Shadrack Wambui and Alexander Mwendwa argued that cannabis is a 'sacrament' used to connect a Rasta believer to their 'creator'.
“Cannabis can be spiritually referred to as bhang, marijuana, holy herb, kushungpeng, tire, ndom, vela, gode and kindukulu,” they added.
They said marijuana is used by adherents of the faith for medicinal, culinary and ceremonial purposes as evinced in their Holy Book called ‘Holy Piby’.