Miraa Bill: Senator Pushes to Delist Miraa from Narcotics List

May 27, 2024

Meru Senator Kathuri Murungi has called for the removal of Miraa from the list of narcotics and psychotropic substances.

Murungi stated that miraa supports about half a million people in Meru County, who have been adversely affected by lost markets both locally and abroad.

Speaking at a forum on the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Control) (Amendment) Bill 2024, known as the ‘Miraa Bill,’ the senator emphasized the crop’s importance to a large population in Meru.

Through the proposed bill, Murungi is leading efforts to delist miraa from the Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances Act to promote its production, marketability, and development.

“In the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic (Control) Amendment Bill, 2024, the intent is to only remove cathine and cathinone as naturally found in miraa from the list of psychotropic substances,” he said.

“These bring a contradiction, where three statutory instruments under the laws of Kenya provide for the development of the miraa industry while another Act continues to classify its components as psychotropic substances. The Bill seeks to correct these anomalies and inconsistencies and to do justice to farmers and traders, who have had to endure untold pain as their enterprise is victimised and criminalised,” he explained.

The deputy Senate Speaker noted that the World Health Organization (WHO) had not placed miraa under international control, as the level of abuse and threat to public health was not significant enough to warrant it.

The presence of cathinone and cathine in miraa, which are classified under the Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances (Control Act), remains a legal hurdle for the development of miraa.

“The entrepreneurs in the manufacture of the various miraa products expressed frustrations since their products could not be licensed, because cathine and cathinone are prohibited substances under the laws of Kenya, hindering their products from reaching the intended market. They, however, expressed optimism that such hindrances will be removed since the government has shown goodwill in supporting the miraa sector,”¬†Murungi remarked.

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