Three people are in police custody in Terego district for illegally growing marijuana. The suspects were picked up in intelligence-led operations in Obayiya village, Anavu Parish, Katrini Sub-county in Terego district on Saturday.
The suspects are Patrick Ciika,20, Godfrey Ogama 20, and Yona Aziku 56 years, all peasant farmers residing in Obayiya village. According to Josephine Angucia, the West Nile Region Police Spokesperson, the operation stemmed from numerous reports by the community about the widespread growth of plant marijuana in Katrini Sub-county.
Angucia says during the crackdown, police destroyed several marijuana gardens and transported them to Terego Central Police Station as exhibits. She however cautioned the public to desist from growing cannabis.
Moses Mandebo, the chairperson of Katrini sub-county, says that marijuana growing in the area has caused a spike in crime, especially theft and domestic violence. He has vowed to continue with the operations to ensure the marijuana gardens in his sub-county are replaced with coffee.
“Opium growing and smoking in Katrini must end. Getting money at the expense of lives is intolerable. We need money, we can get it the right way”, he said. The suspects are currently detained at Terego Central Police Station on charges of production or being in possession of marijuana vide Terego CRB 500/2022.
Cannabis remains illegal in Uganda. However, 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 or investors must be cleared by the tax authorities, present evidence of value addition to cannabis and have a minimum capital of $5m (Shs18.3Bn) and a bank guarantee of $1m (Shs4Bn).URN
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