How high can you fly: Kenyan presidential aspirant supports legalizing of marijuana

Nyamira Senator Okongo Mong'are addresses the media     PHOTO:BONIFACE OKENDO/Standard

Several senators have supported a petition seeking to legalise bhang for medicinal and industrial use.

On Tuesday, a petition by Mr Gwada Ogot, a resident of Nairobi, to have Cannabis Sativa legalised was tabled before the Senate.

Critics of the petition questioned its motive, arguing that the petitioner was misinformed. However, the senators who supported the petition urged the House to look at its merits and demerits instead of dismissing it out of hand.

During the debate, Nyamira Senator Kenneth Okongo, who is vying for the presidency in the August 8 polls, shocked his colleagues when he admitted that he had once used bhang.

"It doesn't mean that if the plant is legalised, it will destroy lives. It depends on the level of indulgence. As a juvenile, I used it. I was also in India, where the plant is legalised, but it is vital if people are disciplined," said Mr Okongo.

His admission attracted a barrage of reactions, with some senators using it to poke fun at his presidential ambition.

Senators Yusuf Haji (Garissa), Mutahi Kagwe (Nyeri), Billow Kerrow (Mandera), Stephen Sang (Nandi), Judy Sijeny (nominated), and Martha Wangari (nominated) questioned whether bhang had influenced Okongo's decision to vie for the presidency.