Kibra MP Kenneth Okoth plans to introduce a Marijuana Control Bill, 2018 with a view to decriminalising the growth and use of bhang.
He revealed this in a letter to National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi on Friday.
The lawmaker said amnesty measures should be instituted for the removal of criminal records against citizens with prior convictions of marijuana use.
“There is a regulation for growth and safe use of marijuana and hemp, including the registration of growers, producers, and manufacturers.”
“….and users with special focus on protection of children minors from illicit use just as we do with tobacco and alcohol,” Okoth said.
The MP noted that there is research and policy development on growth and use of marijuana and hemp for medical industrial textile and recreational purposes.
This, he said, is with a focus on preservation of intellectual property rights for Kenyan research and national heritage, knowledge and our indigenous plant assets.
“The should be progressive taxation measures for the marijuana industry to boost Kenya’s economic independence and promote job creation.”
He argues that thousands of jobs are possible to come by along the full spectrum of the value addition chain for marijuana and hemp.
Okoth asked Muturi for assistance in preparation of the necessary Bill for publication.
According to Nacada, 1 per cent of Kenyans aged 15 to 65 years are regular users of bhang, the most widely used narcotic drug in the country.
Last year, a petitioner seeking legalisation of marijuana, says the plant can cure up to 6,077 medical conditions.
Ogot Gwada presented his petition to the Senate Health committee saying that marijuana has not only huge medicinal benefits but also massive industrial use.
In 2015, the Kibra MP proposed that the government should stop wasting money on sugarcane farming and legalise marijuana instead.
He added that marijuana is a very valuable commodity and has a ready market in the USA and believes it will give Kenyans a lot of money.
“Let us emancipate ourselves from mental slavery and start planting marijuana, legalise it, and tax it.”
“We should replace sugarcane with medical marijuana which has a ready market in the USA,” he said.
Kenyan scientists and researchers have argued that cannabis has medicinal purpose and is, therefore, safe for consumption.
Some of the proponents are scientist Prof Simon Mwaura, economist David Ndii, and Gwada among other Kenyans.
ODM leader Raila Odinga’s son, Raila Junior, also on September 12 called for its legalisation calling for serious discussions on the same.
Mwaura petitioned Parliament in August, saying he had found a way to separate the plant’s psychotropic elements, therefore, making it safe for consumption.
Last year, Ogot started an online petition for the legalisation of weed. He has collected more than 5,000 signatures.
He needs 7,500 signatures for the petition can be tabled in Parliament for debate.
On Monday, South Africa became the third African country to legalise weed for personal use after Lesotho (first) and Zimbabwe (second).
In 2013, Uruguay became the first country in the world to legalise the production, distribution and consumption of marijuana.
Other countries that followed suit for recreational purposes are Canada, Georgia, Colombia and nine states in the US and Washington DC for recreational purposes.
Countries that have legalised cannabis for medicinal use include Chile, Colombia, Peru, United Kingdom, Canada,Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland, Australia, and Israel.
A policy of limited enforcement has also been adopted in countries like Spain and the Netherlands where the sale of cannabis is tolerated at licensed establishments.