Authorities in Migori County are on the spot after photos of Pandi residents trading marijuana (bhang) openly surfaced on social media.
The use or sale of bhang is illegal in Kenya. However, the use of the drug is very high in Pandpieri estate in the heart of Migori town.
In the photos shared online, a group of residents is seen parading the substance for sale in what looks like a small market. Miraa is also sold in the area.
Kahawa Tungu has learnt that bhang smokers in the county consume the illegal substance more freely. It’s not unusual to meet residents enjoying their puffs openly.
There are increasing concerns from a section of residents and Kenyans at large over what is happening in Migori.
Parents from the area have in the past decried the high number of young people addicted to the drug.
“Something needs to be done as our youth are lost in bhang smoking. As a result, cases of robbery, rape and organised crime are on the rise. The security officials need to step in a detonate this ticking time bomb,” Charles Mwita, a pastor in a local church in Kuria East, told Nation in 2018.
Mwita was reacting to calls from a section of residents for legalisation of the substance after a South African court allowed the use of the drug for recreational purposes in the country.
In the past, police have impounded bhang worth millions in Migori county.
In August this year, police seized bhang worth Sh1.94 million in street value in Kamagambo. The bhang was being transported in two vehicles.
The officers also found a cartoon of white paper used to role bhang in small quantities for sale to users.
Reports indicate that most of the bhang is smuggled into Kenya from neighbouring country Tanzania where it is widely grown.
Authorities say the increase of bhang use in Migori has been fuelled by the county’s proximity to Tanzania.
Some of the netizens who reacted to the photos on Thursday asked authorities to deal with the status quo before it gets out of hand and destroy young people’s lives.