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Mbale police are holding 13 for growing marijuana

By: Melanie Aanyu

Aanyu Melanie | 95timefm

Thirteen people are in custody at Busoba police station in Mbale district, for illegally growing marijuana.

The suspects were picked up in intelligence-led operations in Nangilima Lower and Nangilima Upper villages in Busoba sub county, Mbale district on Monday.

Rodgers Taitika, the Elgon Region police spokesperson says the operation followed numerous reports by the community about the widespread growth of marijuana in both villages.

He explains that during the crackdown, police set ablaze several marijuana gardens and transported some to Busoba police station as exhibits.

Milton Burungi, the Elgon Region Criminal Investigations Officer, says that the suspects shall face the consequence of fines and imprisonment.

Martine Shaka Amo, the chairperson of Busoba sub-county, says that marijuana growing in the area has caused a spike in crime, especially theft and domestic violence, and an increased number of school dropouts.

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).