Meru County residents want the National Authority for the Campaign against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA) to declassify miraa as a drug.
NACADA, in 2012 listed miraa as a drug substance abused among 15–65-year-olds which led to loss of miraa markets in the world.
According to NACADA CEO, Victor Okioma, miraa is responsible for many substance disorders, with many of its users in rehabilitation centers.
Mr. Okioma noted that the organization together with the government would come up with laws to prohibit miraa consumption unless there was a way to remove its harmful constituents.
This has angered miraa farmers, vendors, users, and traders especially in Meru where it is grown and consumed in large scale.
John Mutembei, a Meru resident and a Miraa consumer, describes it as a cash crop like tea and coffee.
“Miraa is not a drug but a cash crop in Meru region. politicians and organizations should not be talking about miraa as a drug. They are just trying to ruin the reputation of the crop. Miraa is not like bhang whose consumers even go mad. It is just a cash crop,” noted Mutembei.
Like Mutembei other consumers and vendors have the same opinion.
“We chew miraa and it has no effects as we still carry on with our activities as usual. NACADA should specify which type of khat is harmful instead of saying Miraa is a drug,” Geoffrey Miriti stated.
According to Catherine Mukami, miraa is a cash crop and a source of income for the people of Meru.
Mukami added that she had seen many people consume it since she was young and none of them ever went mad.


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