Security officers in the Central region are on high alert after claims that a cultic religion is recruiting young people into a marijuana-smoking lifestyle.
Christened the International Church of Cannabis, the religious organization with roots in Colorado, USA is said to have set base in several parts of the Central region, including Kiambu, Murang’a, Kirinyaga, Nyandarua and Nyeri counties.
As reported by the Nation, Sub-county security committees have been mobilised to dismantle the “cult” that uses marijuana as a sacrament.
Central Region Commissioner Wilfred Nyagwanga attributed a sudden rise in marijuana peddling and smoking to the “strange faith”.
“We will not allow any activity, whether camouflaged as a faith that is hell-bent to waste our youths. We have some Western cultures that are creeping into our society and we will apply our laws as they are and give no room to such infiltration of corrupt morals,” he said.
“We have also noted that there are too many cases of foreign nationals being arrested in the Central region dealing in cannabis where they brainwash our youths that bhang smoking is a religion and also medicinal.”
Rift Valley Commissioner George Natembeya added: “We are aware of that scheme… we have arrested eight members of such organised group and we are in an all-out war with the cartels and soon we will win.”
According to Nyandarua County chairman of Anti-Alcoholic and Narcotics Board Joseph Kaguthi, the religious organization recruits young members and binds them to loyalty through weed-smoking oaths.
“The recruiting agents are all over and in essence they are nothing else but crooked peddlers. They are after market mobilisation for cash, not promoters of any well-meaning drive. In fact, one word for them is criminals,” said Kaguthi.
Sports Chief Administrative Secretary Zack Kinuthia told the Nation that he learnt the faith existed when he was in the ministry of Education in the same capacity.
“It came to our attention that there was a movement that was using bhang as a symbol of faith. We had the promoters of this faith recruiting followers even in our schools,” he said.
“In an incident in Maragua town in February, a kingpin of the faith called Macharia Makura was arrested after it emerged that he was the contact person in the faith in Murang’a South.”
Kinuthia claimed the church f cannabis is promoted by marijuana dealers “who in some instances have the protection of some of our security officers and its aim is to create an elastic market for bhang and other narcotics”.
He further said the movement is liked to several attempts to “push the agenda of legalisng bhang in the country; attempts that have increased in the recent past”.
Kinuthia regretted the increasing number of teens being indoctrinated into the cannabis cult that teaches them the doctrine of “the light, Canaan, Cannabis and God Almighty.”