Recently, the remarks of a prominent politician ignited the debate on cannabis. For a drug that has been illegal in Kenya, this should have been a shocker, honestly, it wasn’t that much of a surprise. Somewhere down the line, this had to happen. Bringing us to the question for the day, should cannabis be legalized in Kenya?
Cannabis is more common than you think
In Kenya, cannabis is the second most used drug falling short only to alcohol. To the government, cannabis has always been illegal and this explains why the drug has lots of names and we all know, Kenyan youths are quite good at giving names to just anything.
Kush, kero, shash, dorm, bozza, Bangi… this are just a few names used to refer to cannabis among the youths. Despite being illegal, Bangi is sold secretly. Should it be legalized?
The goods and the bads of cannabis in Kenya
Before we can even debate on whether cannabis should be legalized or not, We should first understand the basics of cannabis. Click here to understand the difference between the various cannabinoid compounds.
Weed is a herb, unlike cigarettes, marijuana is not industrially produced. Everything is obtained from the plant. The last time I checked, plants were safe to consume. Ooohhh! They forgot something crucial, and to smoke.
There are several ways in which you can consume weed. In Kenya, smoking is the most common, however, you can consume weed of edibles or even vape if smoking is not your gig.
What is the other side of the coin of smoking weed? The first one has to be an addiction. I listened to a debate on whether weed should be legalized or not and someone said that compared to other drugs, weed is not all that addictive. This is not true, weed is highly addictive. Once your body gets used to it, it won’t function without it. People addicted to weed are reported to have to use 2-3 joints in a day.
The gunshot red eyes may not be a big deal to many but trust me, dilated red eyes are not attractive. This is not a deal-breaker given the fact that there are tones of ways to whiten the eyes???
Some people argue that weed can make you go nuts. How true is this? There are some elements of truth. If you smoke weed on a regular basis when under depression, well maybe then you can snap. Otherwise, you should keep calm you will get back to normal after a few hours.
Should weed be legalized in Kenya?
There is more to this than a Yes or No answer. We can’t change the fact that weed the most abused illegal drug in Kenya. Won’t legalizing it make it more famous and have the number of addicts increase?
On the other hand, if weed is legal won’t the government be able to control its use. That is if only licensed people sell the product and everyone be limited to a given number of joints, say one. How about, the government legalizes it and restricts it to only certain days and an age limit of 21 years? Is Kenya that civilized or do we need a few years to get there and only then be ready to legalize weed?
The current generation of youths YOLO (you only live once) find pride in breaking the rules. Perhaps they are smoking weed just because it is illegal or are they?
There is no debate on whether cannabis should be legalized for medical use, this ought to have been done a long time. For recreational use, this is what needs more debating and the government has a lot more to do than wake up one day and say weed is legal.
In Canada weed is legal, other countries have done it, why not Kenya? Literally, the answer is, because it is Kenya. We are on the right track and we will get there someday, Perhaps, not today but someday!
Written by Francis Nderi