Former National Authority for the Campaign against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA) Chairman John Mututho is urging President Uhuru Kenyatta to assent to the Narcotics, Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Control Amendment Bill 2020.
Mututho observed that the bill which was passed by Parliament more than a month ago had the solution in dealing with the ever-rising cases of drug use among the youths within the country and at the same time punish the drug lords.
Speaking in Nakuru, Mututho singled out provisions of the bill that proposes seizure of all assets belonging to drug barons once convicted of their offences and the proceeds of their illegal businesses directed to rehabilitate the addicts.
The former MP emphasized the need to take the drugs out of the streets noting that there had been a rise in consumption among the youths within urban centres which was posing an economic and social status of users.
According to him, the bill authored by Nyali MP Mohammed Ali introduces hefty fines targeting drug peddlers which he notes will significantly address the current crisis of drug abuse while rehabilitating those affected.
In winning the fight on drugs, Mututho insisted on the need to allocate more funding to rehabilitation centres noting that nearly 60 per cent of those affected cannot afford the costs of medication at the facilities.
Mututho took issue with a number of Kenyans seeking the legalization of Cannabis Sativa (bhang) saying it was against community norms questioning why a section of leaders have gone silent over the matter.
According to the bill, a person found in possession of less than a gram of drugs faces a fine of not less than Ksh 5 million, or imprisonment for not less than five years, or both.
A person found in possession of between 1 gramme and 100 grammes will be fined not less than Ksh 30 million or be imprisoned for 30 years, or suffer both.
Those found with more than 100 grammes will be fined not less than Ksh 50 million or three times the market value.
The Bill also gives the police power to intercept communications between traffickers and drug barons, install CCTV in their premises and areas of operation to collect video evidence.
It also allows the government to access their offshore accounts and repossess their property until they are proven innocent.
The current law lacks provisions for punishing law enforcement officers who aid or conceal drug trafficking from users, peddlers and traffickers. Under the proposed law, the officer would face five years in prison or a Ksh 20 million bond.
By Simon Ben