Eighty three people have been arrested for allegedly participating in a bhang competition at Kenol town in Murang’a County.
Police said they had been tipped off by members of the public about the Sunday party at the hotel.
Murang’a South Sub-County Police Commander John Ondit said the suspects planned the competition at a popular joint in Kenol town and were permitting entry only to those who bought at least two rolls of bhang.
He told the press that the police waited for the party to kick off before storming in and arrested them. They also impounded the rolls of bhang.
“Members of public assisted us in nabbing the suspects who had a party dubbed Rastafarian Party. For one to be allowed in the hotel, he had to buy at least two rolls of bhang; we have initiated a crackdown to arrest more after bhang uptake has risen in the area,” he said
According to the police boss, the drug peddlers in the region have change tack to attract new clients, but added that the authorities have information that will lead them to the notorious vendors.
He said school-going children are also abusing drugs and called on locals to help the police in the fight against the vice.
“Some are pretending to be Akorinos and others Rastafarians with bhang related contents in their dressings for easier identification by their clients, but we are going for them,” Mr Ondit said.
Akorinos and Rastafarians both don turbans as part of their religious practice.
He added that the traffickers have taken advantage of the busy Nairobi-Kenol-Moyale road and are hiding the bhang in petroleum tankers.
In a recent study by the National Authority for the Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (Nacada), Murang’a County was found to be leading in drugs abuse in Mt Kenya region, with Maragua MP Mary Waithira saying her constituency was the most hard hit in the county.
“In one village alone, we have two women with mental disorder who have been impregnated by drug abusers. Children are also taking bhang while in school. We need a multi-sectoral approach to curb the menace,” she said.
The 83 suspects will be arraigned in Kigumo on Monday.