Members of the County Assembly are now preparing a law to regulate the consumption of miraa and muguka.
The MCAs have expressed concerns that miraa has adversely affected the well-being and productivity of the youthful population in several parts of the country.
Speaking at a thanksgiving service, Embu County Assembly Majority Leader Muriithi Kobole revealed that there are plans to limit the amount and time allowed for citizens to chew the stimulant.
“We appreciate that miraa and muguka are our cash crops. However, we are also aware that they are destroying our children. It cannot always be about money.” says Hon. Kobole.
“Miraa chewing should be limited to a specific time frame. and to be sold in grams. We are currently experiencing worrying addiction levels.” he adds.
Embu Leader of Majority Murithi Kobole with Governor Cecily Mbarire at a past function.According to Hon. Kobole, the new law will make it illegal for residents to chew miraa during the day. Persons under the age of 18 years will also be prohibited from accessing or chewing the stimulant.
“Marijuana is grown in Jamaica, but smoking is illegal. We cannot have people chewing miraa all the time, with bulged cheeks, no time for food and productive work. We need the money, but we also need our children to remain sound.” says Hon. Kobole.
Marijuana has long been considered the most misunderstood plant in the world. However, Khat (miraa) has in recent years attracted so much attention from researchers, critics and consumers.
In Meru, and mainly in Igembe, this shrub goes by the name ‘the green gold’, the major source of livelihood to residents and non-resident traders.
The United Kingdom’s decision to ban miraa in July 2014 caused ripples in Meru. This was further worsened by a similar ban in Somalia. The Somalia market has since been reopened, giving hope to miraa farmers and traders of better things to come.
The crop has also suffered several attacks and restrictions by a few County governments, especially in the coastal town of Mombasa.
Currently, a lorry loaded with khat pays Ksh 50,000 before entering Mombasa County, up from Sh20,000 charged a few months ago.
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