Kenyan artist Octopizzo is pleading with President-Elect William Ruto to decriminalize bhang once he gets sworn in.
In a social media video, the singer asked for its decriminalization rather than legalization, claiming that many young people are spending years in jail for a Ksh100 joint.
“I know you’re a Christian so this is a very sensitive topic for you but you know, weed is one of the holiest plants in the world. What I ask for you is not just the legality of it but just the decriminalizing,
“They’re so many young people in Juvenile. I’ve worked in Kamiti, with Juveniles. People that are arrested because of 100 shillings weed and they have been there for over five years. You’re in jail for over five years because of weed of 100 bob is not fair,” he said.
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Now referencing Professor George Wajackoyah, a supporter of weed legalization, Octopizzo cited the plant’s economic value, adding that there are government officials in the business.
“Also this is a multibillion business. We know of government officials that are in the weed business. This is why we were like really big fans of Wajackoyah, cause he knows the economic value of weed,” he added.
According to the “Wakiritho” hitmaker, not everyone uses the illegal substance to get high as it provides him with other benefits.
“Most of us smoke weed to help us with our anxieties. We just don’t smoke weed to get high. They’re so many benefits that weed gives us,” expressed Octopizzo.
Cannabis consumption is illegal in Kenya, with offenders facing up to eight years (formerly fifteen) of imprisonment, according to Wikipedia.
As per a 1991 study, cannabis is the third most abused substance in Kenya, after alcohol and tobacco.
Cannabis consumption was higher among men, the unemployed, and those residing in more urbanized areas, according to a 2012 study by the National Agency for the Campaign Against Drug Abuse (NACADA).
Although consumption in rural areas was also increasing, the study also found that the most common users of cannabis in Kenya were aged 18 to 25 years.