• Kiarie said there was a need to review the country’s agriculture concept to net into the benefits of the non-conventional crops.
• The lawmaker said there was the need to rethink the country’s agriculture sector holistically to get maximum benefit in crops such as marijuana.
Dagoretti South MP John Kiarie has renewed calls for Parliament to craft a law legalizing the industrial and medicinal use of marijuana.
The lawmaker said the country can no longer be blind to its economic benefits.
Kiarie said there was a need to review the country’s agriculture concept to net into the benefits of the non-conventional crops.
“It is time we stopped being cowards as a house and start looking at crops that will be of benefit to this country,” Kiarie said.
“It is, therefore, time we also considered the legalization of marijuana in this country. I am talking about knowing that marijuana is pest resistant.”
“We understand the benefits in the marijuana production value chain, for medicinal and industrial use,” the MP said.
“There is a lot of pushback because people are resistant to the recreational use of marijuana.”
Kiarie said that legalizing a crop like marijuana, should not be misconstrued as calling for recreational use.
“This is for us to open our minds so that we reap from the benefits of a crop that is not affected by pests and diseases and is also drought resistant,” the MP said.
“From the industrial use of hemp to the medicinal use, this is a discussion that we will open as we have a holistic look at how we tackle agriculture.”
The lawmaker said there was the need to rethink the country’s agriculture sector holistically to get maximum benefit in crops such as bixa, and marijuana.
Kiarie made the call during the debate on the Crops Bill, 2019 at the National Assembly on Thursday.
The bill sponsored by Matuga MP Kassim Tandaza Sawa seeks to include Achiote – known in the Coast as ‘mrangi’ as a cash crop.
His bid follows challenges by farmers to get financial support to grow the crop as it is considered an industrial crop that is not consumed directly.
Kiarie said good agricultural practices would salvage the country’s health system said to be overburdened as a result of bad lifestyles.
“It is out of what we eat that we end up with morphology of people’s bodies that are not resistant to diseases,” he said.
On the proposal to list bixa as a cash crop, he said the government would have no option but to invest in this crop.
“We understand there is much more that can be done to make this crop (bixa) mean more economically,” Kiarie said, adding that agriculture alone can salvage President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big Four agenda.
“Our farmers will be able to get an extra buck. Same people will have disposable income and will thus be able to invest a bit more in the quality of housing that they do. If we invested well in our agriculture, we shall be growing industrialization in this country,” he said.
The MP joins the growing list of lawmakers seeking the legalization of marijuana for economic benefits.
Narok Senator Ledama Ole Kina has also made similar calls.