Government is set to reintroduce the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Control) Bill, Eagle Online has learnt.
According to the Attorney General, Kiryowa Kiwanuka arrangements are being made to reintroduce this Bill at the appropriate time before the House.
Earlier this month, A panel of five justices of the Constitutional court led by deputy chief justice Richard Buteera, Stephen Musota who has since been elevated to the Supreme court, Muzamiru Mutangula Kibeedi, Irene Mulyagonja and Monica Mugyenyi unanimously annulled Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Control Act 2016 for lack of quorum and ordered the government to pay the farmers costs they have spent on this petition.
“Clearly, the government and the Executive are interested in this Bill. In the meantime, any case of drug abuse is being handled under the existing law, and we don’t have a real gap at this point other than the extent of the penalty.” Kiwanuka said during the plenary.
This law had prohibited the use of several drugs, including cannabis, bush cocoa, and mairungi, as they contain cathinone and cathine, substances that are known to have side effects such as increased blood pressure, euphoria and elation with feelings of alertness and arousal.
In 2017, Wakiso Miraa Growers and Dealers Association Limited filed a petition challenging the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Control Act. The act prohibited and criminalized the cultivation, possession, consumption, sale, distribution, transportation, and exportation of Catha edulis (khat) commonly known as mairungi.
Through their lawyers led by Isaac Ssemakadde, the petitioners argued that prohibition of khat was not backed up by any scientific evidence yet it had a disruptive effect on the livelihood, property, cultural and social economic rights of the petitioners who are mairungi farmers, sellers and consumers.