7 Pros and Cons of Weed Legalization in Kenya

March 22, 2023

Between the pros and cons of weed legalization, which outweighs the other? Marijuana has numerous recreational and medicinal benefits you can freely enjoy, but only if it’s legal in your region. 

In Kenya, enthusiasts looking for fem seeds for home growing have to wait until the government decriminalizes marijuana cultivation. 

More countries are joining the green revolution and allowing their citizens to plant cannabis seeds. What are the benefits of decriminalizing the cultivation, possession, and use of marijuana? 

Keep reading to discover the merits and demerits of legalizing cannabis in Kenya. Find out the laws and the possible future of marijuana in the country.

Is Weed Legal in Kenya?

Before discussing the benefits of marijuana, it’s essential to understand whether weed is legal in Kenya. Under the 1994 Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Control) Act, possession of cannabis is an offense.

Selling marijuana in Kenya is illegal, and the court may fine or sentence you to prison if found guilty. The government also prohibits citizens from growing weed for personal or commercial purposes. 

Can you use medical cannabis in Kenya? Cannabidiol (CBD), the main compound responsible for marijuana’s therapeutic benefits, is illegal in the country. Buying or selling products infused with this substance is also against the law.

Though weed is illegal in Kenya, its consumption rate is high. People are forced to purchase pot from black markets where peddlers sell it.

Pros of Weed Legalization in Kenya

Several African countries, including Rwanda, Lesotho, and South Africa, have legalized marijuana to some extent. What’s the benefit of decriminalizing this herb in Kenya?

Better Quality

Since weed is illegal in Kenya, the government hasn’t set guidelines to control the quality and safety of cannabis products. People buy cannabis from the streets, which may contain harmful substances like pesticides.

Once the government legalizes marijuana, it can create laws ensuring vendors sell safe, high-quality products. Herb enthusiasts will have access to premium cannabis without additives or chemicals that might cause serious health problems. 

Increased Revenue

Cannabis is a booming business, with researchers claiming that marijuana sales in the U.S. may reach $57 billion by 2030. This figure could go higher if more state governments decriminalize marijuana.

Weed legalization in Kenya can create a revenue stream for the government by collecting taxes from cannabis sales. These funds could be used to improve the health sector, build infrastructure, and improve the livelihoods of citizens. 

For instance, the Californian government reported that, from 2018 to August 2022, it collected $4 billion in tax revenue from cannabis sales. 

Provide Medical Alternatives

Research and user reports show that marijuana has numerous therapeutic benefits. CBD, which doesn’t cause psychoactive effects, may help reduce the symptoms of certain medical conditions.

The uses of cannabis include treating chronic pain, reducing anxiety, inflammation, migraines, insomnia, and assisting with other conditions.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Epidiolex, which contains CBD, to treat epilepsy-associated seizures.

Legalizing marijuana allows researchers to use the herb to create products that offer medical benefits to users. People allergic to certain drugs can use cannabis as an alternative to treat their health conditions.

Reduce Crime Rate

Legalizing weed in Kenya could kill the black market, usually associated with violence and other criminal activities. Street peddlers would run out of business or legally have to register as vendors. 

Dismantling the illegal cannabis black market could also reduce gang-related violence. It can promote the safety and security of Kenyans who risk their lives while dealing with dangerous drug peddlers.

Enable the Police to Deal With Other Crimes

Law enforcement officers in Kenya use time and money to fight marijuana-related crimes. Cannabis enthusiasts argue that employing these funds is unnecessary, since the herb isn’t dangerous or life-threatening.

If weed was legal, the police could channel these resources to combat violent crimes such as robbery and sexual offenses. The court’s workload will also reduce with fewer cases related to marijuana.

Cons of Weed Legalization in Kenya

Though cannabis is beneficial, it has some minor drawbacks that people use to oppose its legalization. 

Risk of Addiction and Dependency

Some cannabis consumers who’ve used the herb for an extended period may develop dependency. If you abruptly stop smoking, you might experience withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, mood changes, and irritability. 

Legalizing marijuana and making it more available could increase the possibility of more Kenyans being cannabis addicts.

Risk of Health Problems

Marijuana consumption is associated with various health issues. Weed smokers may develop breathing problems, lung diseases, and digestive disorders. 

There’s debate on whether weed makes you depressed or happy. Cannabis may positively impact your mental health and alter moods and perception, but it could also impair your judgment and reduce your motor skills. 

Some research also suggests that second-hand marijuana smoke can be harmful to non-consumers. 

What’s the Future of Weed in Kenya?

The debate on the pros and cons of weed legalization in Kenya is ongoing. Researchers like Simon Mwaura and Gwada Ogot fight to decriminalize marijuana, arguing it could benefit the citizens. 

Other cannabis enthusiasts, including political leaders, artists, and musicians, also advocate for the legalization of marijuana cultivation and sales. 

Like other African countries, Kenya may soon join the list of nations that allow citizens to grow and consume marijuana. Keep the hope alive and unite with other advocates in campaigning for the legalization of cannabis.

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