By Bernice Apondi / Nation

The Narcotics, Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Control) (Amendment) Bill 2020 was passed by the National Assembly during a session of the Committee of the Whole House on May 19, 2021 and is now awaiting President Uhuru Kenyatta's assent to become law.

But there are arguable and compelling reasons as to why His Excellency the President, in his wisdom and concern for the welfare of all Kenyans - including those burdened by drug addiction and their families - should not append his signature to the Bill but have it returned to the House for further deliberation, input and consensus.

The Bill, as it is, is a product of a process that excluded robust public participation as required by the Constitution and deliberately ignored concrete evidence presented to the drafters that, among other things, it unnecessarily creates insurmountable hurdles in regard to access to healthcare for low cadre users hopelessly hooked to drugs.

This despite international best practices and trends now unreservedly recommending that such individuals be considered candidates for public health interventions.