"Why is it that we in Kenya we are still stuck with the old ways of saying this is an illegal drug?"

Narok County Senator Ledama Olekina has called for the legalisation of marijuana in Kenya, citing the plant’s economic and health benefits. In a video shared on twitter, the legislator is seen standing amongst marijuana plants before revealing that he’s in Lithuania, Europe. Senator Olekina wondered why the plant is still illegal in Kenya, saying the law is part of the ‘old ways’.

“Ladies and gentlemen, this is crazy. I'm right in the middle of a farm in a place called Lithuania. What you can see here is marijuana. Why is it that we in Kenya we are still stuck with the old ways of saying this is an illegal drug? My host is telling me that hemp (fibre extracted from the stem) is used for construction and making ropes. If it's also good to reduce pain for cancer patients, why not legalize it? What is so bad about it? If this weed is good for us, let's legalize it,” he says, before showing the expansive marijuana farm.

READ ALSO: Marijuana can be used to treat HIV patients- Raila Junior

“I would love to live here,” he concludes at the end of the video.

“Life! I swear all of us are naturally high! Some with nyasore (marijuana) others busaa! Instead of giving directions or consulting they decide to give a striker the ball while facing the goal post!  Sawa twende kazi!” he captioned the video.

Legalization

READ ALSO: Ugandan Government signs deal to export Marijuana

In 2013, Lithuania was the last of the EU member states to legalize hemp for industrial use. Marijuana in Lithuania is illegal for recreational use, but legislation allowing for medical use was approved in October 2018, going into effect in 2019. In 2018, former Kibra MP Ken Okoth tabled the Marijuana Control Bill 2018 in the National Assembly. The bill sought to decriminalize the use of marijuana and draw up regulations for growth and use of the herb. In 2017, two Kenyan researchers, Gwada Ogot and Simon Mwaura blazed the trail in petitioning Parliament to legalize cannabis.

Raila Junior has also championed for the legalization of medicinal marijuana saying, “There’s need to legalize medical marijuana, as it is something that can help Kenya, especially sick people who will need marijuana in their treatment... As Kenyans, we should now be debating; is it possible to grow marijuana in a controlled environment for export and for medical use? And, can this be of help in reducing tax burden?”