Miraa farmers and traders have gone back to court, seeking orders preventing an anti-drug abuse agency from regulating chewing of the stimulant.
Still, Justice Enock Chacha Mwita refused to restrain the National Authority for the Campaign against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (Nacada) from enforcing a regulation that miraa be chewed between 4pm and 10pm.
Justice Mwita ordered lawyer Henry Kurauka for the Kenya Miraa Farmers and Traders Association to serve Nacada, the Attorney-General and Dr William Okedi, who have been cited as defendants in the new case, before November 17.
Mr. Kurauka told the judge that the decision by Nacada to regulate the chewing of miraa would adversely affect the trade in the stimulant, which has been prohibited in some European states.
“The stimulant has been given a clean bill of health through scientific and laboratory tests. It has been placed in the class of coffee and tea,” Mr. Kurauka responded. He said Nacada has no legal mandate to restrict the time for miraa consumption.
North eastern will be one of the regions hugely affected by this regulation. In Garissa alone the wild narcotic is sold and consumed in over hundred temporary built shades commonly known as Dashes. However this is good news for women in the region who have been complaining that their men are abandoning their family duties to chew miraa to as late as three or four in the morning
It is projected that nearly 50 vehicles ferrying miraa leave the Meru region every morning, with more than a half of them heading to North Eastern. Each vehicle carries about two tons, valued at about Sh5 million. In North Eastern alone, they spend about Sh100 million every day on the stuff. Nearly a third of North Eastern residents use miraa. Most chewers and miraa sellers are not pleased with the regulation talk and want nacada to back off.