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Saturday, August 19, 2017

[VIDEO] Bhang is God's plant, can cure 6,000 diseases, petitioner tells senators

Petitioner Ogot Gwada ahead of his appearance before the Senate regarding his petition to decriminalise bhang, April 6, 2017. /GIDEON KETER
Petitioner Ogot Gwada ahead of his appearance before the Senate regarding his petition to decriminalise bhang, April 6, 2017. /GIDEON KETER

A petitioner seeking legalisation of marijuana, popularly known as bhang, says the plant can cure up to 6,077 medical conditions.

Ogot Gwada presented his petition to the Senate Health committee on Thursday.

Gwada said marijuana has not only huge medicinal benefits but also massive industrial use.

It is time Kenya decriminalised the plant and reviewed its categorisation, he said, adding the system that banned marijuana is "old and outdated".

"The age of legal cannabis is with is time-based, cyclic and coincides with the age of light and knowledge," said the petitioner.

"Cannabis is God's plant...a gift to mankind...just like the many minerals he has in store for Kenya. No one can stop this."

Read: Senate petitioned to legalise marijuana for medical, industrial use

In his submissions to the committee chaired by Migori Senator Wilfred Machage, the researcher said Kenya criminalised the use of bhang based on ignorance and lies propagated by Western countries.

He said cannabis is projected to be a one-step solution for global medicinal and industrial needs.

"This effort to legalise cannabis in Kenya is a first and conscious step towards achieving medicinal and industrial self-sufficiency nationally and on the continent," he said.

"It is also a statement to western nations that Kenya and Africa have come of age because it is they who precipitated the ban."

Also read: Nyeri Rastafarians want government to legalise bhang

The petitioner added that industrial cannabis offers Africa a comprehensive and valuable raw material base.

Gwada said this is necessary for transformation from a net consumer of imported goods and commodities to a net producer and exporter.

To back his petition, he admitted before the committee that he consumed the herb during his teen years.

Gwada further noted that most countries in Europe and Asia, as well as America, have recently legalised the marijuana.

Colombia, Mexico, Czech Republic, Costa Rica, Ireland, Australia, Jamaica, and Germany were listed among those that have decriminalised the herb.

Others included Philippines, Netherlands, Uruguay, North Korea, Virgin Islands, Nicaragua and the US.

"Credit to science, this phenomenal legalisation rate has validated the place of the herb by effectively eradicating stigmatisation," he said.

"This high number not only explains, through exigencies of time, but also validates the latent potential of the herb."

More on this: Ireland moves towards legalising marijuana for medicinal use

Machage said the committee will investigate the matter which he termed as an opportunity to discover crucial medicine.

He said the team will organise a workshop that will bring together researchers, doctors and others to discuss the relationship between marijuana and crime.

"It is not the work of the Senate to criminalise your thinking but it will investigate the matter and make a decision on what is good for the country."

Section 3 (2) (a) of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Control Act lists cannabis as a banned substance. The law states that possession or personal use of the drug is criminal.

A compound in marijuana known as cannabidiol (CBD) has been found by scientists as fit for the treatment of schizophrenia.

Schizophrenia is a long-term mental disorder involving a breakdown in relating thought, emotion, and behavior.

Patients with the condition exhibit faulty perception and inappropriate actions and feelings.

They are also withdrawn from reality and personal relationships into fantasy and delusion and a sense of mental fragmentation.

Clinical trials in both animals and humans have found CBD as having antipsychotic effects due to its anxiety-reducing effects.

Read: Italy parliament begins debate on legalising cannabis


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