, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 19 – Ten Members of Parliament from Meru have now been enjoined in a case where miraa traders and farmers are challenging the decision of the National Agency for the Campaign against Drug Abuse (NACADA) to classify it as a narcotic drug.
High Court Judge David Majanja gave the legislators the go-ahead to support the case by the petitioners as leaders of the region.
Justice Majanja also allowed the petitioners to amend the case before September 2 when the matter will be mentioned and further directions given.
NACADA has since clarified that it has not classified Miraa as a banned substance but said it has generally raised its concern as to the consumption and side effects.
According to NACADA, the substance comprises two key psychoactive substances which cause feelings of euphoria and empathy.
The agency says its role is meant to spearhead demand reduction and intervention that aim at empowering the public to make informal choices against engaging in Miraa substance abuse.
A survey conducted by NACADA in 2012, reveals that 4.2 percent of Kenyans aged between 15-65 years chew miraa.
Among the youthful population of 25-35 years, Miraa consumption is higher at 5.7 percent.
NACADA stated that it conducted the research with the sole purpose and intention of to have empirical and scientific facts to inform our public education and awareness on Miraa.
NACADA the petitioners contend has adversely affected marketing and income from Miraa yet it has made no efforts to seek and involve consumers on a matter that affects their lives and their livelihood.