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NACADA wants counties to review bar licensing guidelines

The National Authority for the Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA) CEO, Victor Okioma, has asked county governments to review licensing guidelines for bars and restaurants to include plot numbers and exact locations.

Speaking after meeting the North Eastern Regional Multi-Agency Security Teams, Okioma said that some bars had been opened next to schools while others in places where there is no security thus risking the lives of Kenyans.

“The licenses do not indicate the premises and plot numbers. Some people are taking this advantage and opening 10 bars with only one license,” Okioma said.

“The County Authority needs to be keen about the premises where the bars are and ensure they are well described. We also need to know what the bars are selling in those premises and must conform to minimum health requirement,” he added

On marijuana, Okioma dismissed those pushing for legalization of the drug, saying that legalization of the substance has not worked in countries that allowed it.

“Marijuana is one of the most problematic drugs in the country currently. When you talk about licensing Marijuana, you are trying to say that we allow it for recreation and fun. Currently Marijuana is only allowed for medical and scientific reasons,” he said.

“Marijuana is the most abused narcotic and leading in drug-caused disorders in the country,” he warned.

North Eastern Regional Commissioner, Nicodemus Ndalana, said that security teams would do their best to stop drug trafficking in the region.

“Drugs in this region can be eliminated because it is not entrenched. We need to thwart the intentions of those who may want to start abusing early enough,” Ndalana said.

Ndalana, however noted that much of the drugs end up in neighbouring Somalia and they (security agencies) would strive to stop the business.

The Regional Commissioner expressed fear that the Somali based Al-Shabaab terror group may start drug trafficking.

The meeting brought together all County Commissioners and County Police Commanders from the region.

Police in the region have in the last one year intercepted close to one ton of bhang, with several cases pending in court.

By Erick Kyalo

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