8 in trouble for illegally growing Marijuana in Kwania District
Police in Kwania district have arrested eight people for illegally growing marijuana in Abongomola Sub County.
The suspects were picked up during a joint operation carried out by police and the local leaders on Wednesday. Ivan Nuwagaba, the Kwania acting District Police Commander says the suspects had planted over 7 hectares of cannabis.
He identified the suspects as Robert Obia, Joshua Ogwal, Keren Ayugi, Better Amongi and Jaspher Oloro all from Abwongdani Village. Others are Jimmy Okoi from Atimnadi Village, Jimmy Odongo and Wilfred Nyero all from Baronger Village, Abwong parish, Abongomola Sub County.
Nuwagaba says that the arrest stemmed from an intelligent report that showed over 30 people in the area cultivating the illicit drug. He urged members of the public to desist from growing cannabis without license.
The DPC says during the crackdown, police destroyed about 7 acres of marijuana garden and the suspects were also found with 25 kilograms of marijuana seeds. The suspects are being kept at Kwania central police station awaiting court.
According to Vincent Otile the LC2 Chairman of Abwong, growing marijuana has caused a spike in criminality. Otile claims that his office has recorded over 30 cases of incest, theft and domestic violence within a spat of only two months attributing it to marijuana.
Cannabis remains illegal in Uganda. Though, the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 2015 legalized cultivation, production and exportation of medical marijuana and mandated the Health minister to issue written consent for medical marijuana.
According to the guidelines, the cultivators must be cleared by the tax authorities, present evidence of value addition to cannabis and have minimum capital of $5m (Shs18.3b) and a bank guarantee of $1m (Shs4b).