Over 200,000 Kenyans Using Bhang
The use of bhang and drug abuse is a question that has not been solved for time.
In Africa close to 60 Million people use bhang or cannabis sativa where It is projected that by 2030, 86 Million people in Africa aged between 15-64 years will be using cannabis sativa.
According to the National Authority Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA), bhang is reported to be the most widely used narcotic drug in Kenya.
Over 200,000 people aged 15-64 are currently using bhang.
The leading region with people consuming bhang is Coastal and Nyanza region with 6,480 and 4,320 respectively followed by Nairobi and Central region with 4,300 and 2160 respectively.
In Vihiga and Siaya counties youths aged between 18-35 years smoke bhang.
“We prefer smoking bhang in the evening because it is the best time for meditation, we also smoke in the bushes to avoid being distracted while smoking, “they said.
Majority of youths smoking bhang in both Siaya and Vihiga counties prefer sun-dried while others prefer chewing marijuana seeds.
“We smoke sun-dried leaves of marijuana which we roll in a joint and we also chew its seeds one by one, the good thing about marijuana is we eat everything”, they said.
Following the increased abuse of marijuana, and its negative effects on society, NACADA is firmly opposed to efforts to legalize the use of bhang in the country
“Our young are getting used to bhang from western stars and celebrities who are using it where they find it very normal. The chance of young people getting addicted is higher by 1-6 times than a person who started using it when they were older,” Wangui Mucara a psychologist said.
“My mother was a peddler of marijuana I used to roll the joints for her after secondary education I took over and started selling bhang immediately she dropped that work,” said a peddler of marijuana.
“I cannot undertake daily chores without taking bhang, I get extra_ordinary from bhang and I perform very well at work after taking 2_3, joints in a day I am already addicted to it and I cannot quit smoking bhang, “says a bhang consumer.
John Makato a bhang consumer and now a preacher says “Before I got saved I used to smoke bhang while I was at primary school, it really messes up my life and therefore I don’t support its legalization here in key” said Makato.
One out of every ten Kenyans is said to suffer from a common mental disorder most of these disorders are a result of drug and alcohol abuse that has been associated with the increased cases of murder and suicide.
As families struggle under the burden of increased cases of drug and alcohol abuse, the government has been urged to create more public awareness and targeted campaigns as well as ensure the availability of affordable rehabilitation centers.
Joseph Wainaina a UDA nominated member of Parliament says “A country is a country because of the people if we don’t talk about this issue of drug abuse we will not have a country in the next 10 years to come, therefore I urge the government to keep aside some amount of money for rehabilitation centers for addicted people who cannot afford to go for privacy rehabilitation centers, “he said.