February 28, 2024

Mairungi growers threaten to sue gov’t over new narcotics law

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(Patricia Lindrio/Global Press Journal)

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KAMPALA 

Khart growers across the country have threatened to take the government to court over the new Narcotics and Psychotropic Substance Control Act 2023.

The Act, which was recently signed into law by President Museveni, prohibits the growing, trading, or consumption of marijuana or khart without a valid licence.

The law punishes anyone convicted with up to 10 years in prison.

Although the law has been passed, khart (mairungi) growers and dealers across the country have threatened to sue the government, claiming that the law was enacted without proper consultation with business stakeholders.

Mairungi growers and dealers have expressed concern that the law will result in the loss of over 8 million jobs, and have asked the president to repeal it as well as remove mairungi from psychotropic drugs.

On Thursday, Johnson Mugisa, chairman of the Mira Growers Association in Kabarole District, saidthat the new law is likely to drive out approximately 18000 people from employment, prompting the government to reconsider the law on khart while also regulating it.

“We are going to petition court about the new law requesting government to remove khart from psychotropic substances but be regulated and we are ready to pay taxes,” he said.

Farmers from over eight subcounties in Kabarole alone had switched from tea to mairungi because it was more profitable.

In related news, the Wakiso Mira Growers and Dealers Association has joined forces with other mira industry players to sue the government, claiming that they have attempted to meet with the president on several occasions but were unsuccessful.

They stated that they will also petition courts of law in order to obtain the attention they seek.

On Thursday, a sample conducted by this website revealed that khart business in Kampala metropolitan areas has significantly decreased because farmers and traders are not harvesting the green chewable leaf for fear of being arrested by authorities.

Nettl Media News found that the price of the green leaf product in some parts of the city has risen due to a scarcity of supplies.

Source: Nile Post

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