Our children are keen on marijuana campaign talk

Security officers display sacks of Marijuana at Likoni police station in Mombasa. [Omondi Onyango,Standard]

“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it” are the wise words found in Proverbs 22:6.

Recently, while unveiling the Roots Party manifesto, the party boss Professor George Wajackoyah, who is also the party’s presidential aspirant, emphasised that his party stands for “morality and solidarity”. 

This was laudable because morality is based on principles that are considered right and acceptable in society.

However, it appears the morality Prof. Wajackoyah was referring to is not a reflection of the well-known moral values and virtues, and would not promote personal integrity and discipline – far from it.

Two items of great concern proposed by the presidential candidate are the legalisation of marijuana and prostitution. These are totally unacceptable.

We have all witnessed marijuana destroy Kenyan families; rendering them destitute and subjecting them to unthinkable domestic violence and untold suffering. 

Recovery from drug abuse by afflicted persons and families has not only been very expensive, but even impossible to achieve in some instances. Prostitution in any and all its manner of practice is immoral, socially decadent and unacceptable in any sane society.

Kenyan society has traditionally been built on a religious and moral fabric that is God-fearing. This must be protected. These unthinkable proposals by the Professor would destroy what we have painstakingly nurtured over decades, and therefore must be rejected in toto.

What has become of Kenya if a political party proposing a candidate to the office of the president would dare propose legalisation of marijuana and prostitution; is that how depraved we have become? 

It is equally ridiculous to propose cultivation of marijuana for export as the panacea for Kenya’s debt burden and economic problems.

And worse still, as a replacement for traditional cash crops. The character of a would-be leader who makes these proposals is highly questionable. 

A person who does not consider the physical and mental health of the young people of this nation, or the welfare of families in Kenya does not qualify as a candidate to such an eminent office as the presidency. 

In fact, he shouldn’t qualify for any public office for that matter. History will judge us harshly if we remain quiet, if we watch and do nothing.

And here is what is particularly disturbing - that because these proposals are being made in the public arena, our children are listening, spectating and getting drawn by the seductive fanfare being associated with marijuana and prostitution. This is dangerous.

We must be conscious that our children are keenly watching and learning while we turn a blind eye and laugh off the prospect of legalising marijuana and prostitution.

Where do we draw the line between exercising democratic freedoms of speech and corrupting the values of our children? Do we not see the imminent risk of getting our children hooked and ultimately addicted to drugs?

We need to look beyond opportunistic populism and weigh the consequences of these utterances and proposed policies on our youth and children. We must not forget the history of arson and violence witnessed in schools - meted by students “riding high on weed”.

Lives have been lost, children raped and maimed and property destroyed. Their academic, mental, social and physical wellbeing has been destroyed as well.

Our children’s futures and dreams shattered all in the name of drugs.

Has the Roots Party boss thought through the possible repercussions, or is it that he does not even care after all.  Those who cultivate it would definitely be exposed to its use, even to the point of addiction.

Exporting a product that we are well-aware is potentially injurious to other people is simply unethical. Are we seriously contemplating Kenya as an exporter of illicit drugs?

Do we not see that legalising marijuana would create a two-way expressway allowing the influx of other hard drugs into the country?

It is said that silence can be interpreted to mean consent.  No, in this case it is much worse – our silence means we have become complacent. Why are the relevant authorities in Government that deal with drugs silent about this matter? 

Why are the other candidates for presidency silent? When we keep silent about proposals to legalise marijuana and prostitution, the youth and children shall certainly interprete that we support them.

The Church does not accept the proposals to legalise marijuana and prostitution.  Rather, we are resolute that they are wrong, unethical and should be condemned.

There have been calls to boycott the organised and legally instituted religious institutions due to our position on this matter. The rebellion towards God and faith institutions in the name of liberation is misplaced.

We strongly stand for values in the society; they matter.