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Rastafarians charged with possession of bhang

01 October 2013, 14:25 Joseph Njung’eh

Nyeri - A group of four men claiming to be rastafarians were on Tuesday arraigned before a Nyeri court facing charges of trafficking and possessing bhang.

The four, among others, have been advocating for use of the drug claiming that it is holy and that the government should legalise it, arguing that they are merchants of peace and not evil in the society.

Appearing separately before Resident Magistrate Vincent Nyakundi, they all denied the charges of trafficking and possessing bhang and were freed on bond.

John Maina Ngarithi and Alex Ngatia Maina are facing charges of trafficking Cannabis sativa on October 30 near the Nyeri law courts.

They were arrested by police who found them with a total of 14 rolls of bhang estimated to be worth KES 250, according to the prosecution.

They were freed on a KES 150 000 bond or a cash bail of KES 30 000 each.

The case of the first accused will proceed on November 11 while the second will appear again in court on October 30.

Their colleagues, Micheal Kamumbu Maina and Steven Muchiri Maina, were charged with possession of bhang.

The court heard that on September 30, outside Nyeri law courts, they were found in possession of four and five rolls of bhang respectively worth KES 180.

They were however released on a KES 150 000 bond or an alternative of a KES 30 000 cash bail.

The four accused persons informed court that they had gone to the law courts to bail one of them out.

They said it was unfair for the police to press the charges against them just because of their beliefs.

However, according to Nyeri OCPD, John Leshimpiro, some of them attempted to swallow some rolls to conceal evidence from the police during the arrest.

He said police have been tracing the members of the ‘cult’ who went into hiding following media coverage when they were asking for the legalisation of the weed.

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