Khalwale stated that the proposed Bill should not be allowed to get to the floor of the house for debate.
Okoth wrote to Speaker Justin Muturi on Friday last week noting that he was crafting a bill seeking to decriminalize the growth and use of marijuana and hemp for medical, industrial, textile and recreational purposes.
“I don’t support it all. I think it’s rubbish. It’s populist.
“He’s appealing to his voting population in Kibra which has a lot of youth, and unfortunately there are a lot of drug users and abusers in the slums of Nairobi,” Khalwale maintained.
Okoth had also proposed research and policy development on growth and use of marijuana with a focus on Intellectual Property (IP) rights to protect Kenya’s indigenous plant assets.
Khalwale maintained that this was not necessary as the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) was already capable of conducting research on marijuana and its uses.
“You don’t need any new rules to do research. Nothing is stopping KEMRI from doing research on Marijuana even right now,” Khalwale stated.
He also disputed the notion that decriminalization of marijuana would lead to enhanced job creation and economic growth, asserting that it would only make drugs more accessible to the youth.
“Drug addiction is not a joke. You want to make a drug that is addictive easily accessible to the youth?
“This should not be allowed to get to the floor of the house,” he stated.