Calls to legalize Marijuana in Kenya

The Rastafari Society of Kenya wants the government to legalize the use of marijuana.

On Monday, the society filed a petition in a Nairobi Court seeking to lift the law criminalizing the use of marijuana in the East African nation.

The group wants section 3 of the Narcotics Drugs Act suspended because it encourages the arrest, prosecution, and conviction of its members using the drug in their private homes or in their places of worship.

They complained about the continuous harassment, intimidation, arrest, prosecution, and imprisonment of its members found growing and using marijuana for spiritual purposes by the police.

“The impugned law which was enacted in the year 1994 is hostile and intolerant to persons professing the Rastafari faith yet we are in a new constitutional framework following the promulgation of the Constitution of Kenya 2010 that is progressive and accommodative of diversity,” said their lawyer Shadrack Wambui.

Wambui claimed that believers of the Rastafari faith use bhang for spiritual, medicinal, culinary, and ceremonial purposes as a sacrament to manifest their faith.

He added that they either take bhang by smoking, drinking, eating, bathing, or burning incense.

“The marijuana is usually used in a pipe (or “chalice”) or burned as incense that accompanies “Ises” praises to Jah and a short prayer is always recited and/or Chanted before it is used or burned as incense with the citation of prayers,” Wambua said.

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