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Man caught after cultivating bhang for 61 years

20 August 2013, 10:26 Wangui Joseph

Karigu-ini - An 86-year-old man from Karigu-ini village in Tetu constituency has been put under probation for a year after being charged with cultivating bhang by a Nyeri court.

Appearing before Resident Magistrate John Aringo, Samuel Nderitu Kamawe was charged with cultivating cannabis sativa contrary to section 6 (a) of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substance Control Act of 1994.

He admitted that on June 23 he was found to have cultivated 55 plants of bhang, valued at KES 5 000.

According to a report from a probation officer, Irene Thuranira, the accused phas seven children and divorced his wife in 1994.

In an interview with the officer, Nderitu admitted to the charges and said that he has been farming bhang since 1952 and begun using it in 1954.

He informed the officer that he has a court order licensing him to cultivate, consume and sell bhang which he was granted in 1996 after he was arrested and imprisoned for six years.

Nderitu, formerly working with the Ministry of Public Works as a mason, is a peasant farmer on his quarter acre piece of land.

The report further indicated that he has been having a dispute with his daughter-in-law who had cautioned him from cultivating bhang.

He has also been in court twice for offences of stealing farm produce (green maize) but was acquitted for lack of evidence.

Nderitu asked for leniency pledging not to cultivate bhang again and got the probation sentence due to his advanced age.

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