Nyamira senator Kenneth Okong’o Mong’are on Wednesday stunned the Senate during the debate of a petition seeking to legalize marijuana.
The petition was made by Mr Gwada Ogot, a resident of Nairobi, who wants bhang legalized for medicinal and industrial use.
The petition sparked a heated debate with several senators supporting the motion. One of them was Presidential aspirant Mr Okong’o who confessed to using bhang.
“It doesn’t mean that if the plant is legalized, it will destroy lives. It depends with the level of indulgence. As a juvenile, I used it. I was also in India where the plant is legalized but it is vital if people are disciplined. You can choose not to use it,” said Okong’o.
He added: “As a House, we can come up with regulations that encourage deterrence. The government can allow it but have regulations that restrict use.”
Mr Okong’o also denied that bhang influenced his decision to vie for the presidency in August after Senators Yusuf Haji (Garissa), Mutahi Kagwe (Nyeri), Billow Kerrow (Mandera), Stephen Sang (Nandi), Judy Sijeny (nominated), and Martha Wangari (nominated) used his admission to ridicule his presidential ambitions.
“I used to use it sometime ago. It didn’t inform my decision to contest for presidency. If the senators want to know about the plant, the House should organise for a retreat to discuss the same,” said the senator.