Monday, November 28, 2005

Khat and Paste

The government is finally contemplating banning the drug of choice of African/Arab migrants - Khat ('qat, kat, khat, khut, qut or xat depending on which expert you talk to').

The leaves are imported on regular flights from Africa as they remain potent for only 36 hours after being picked.

In the Nacro study 49% of the 553 Somalis interviewed said they wanted to see khat made illegal and even 25% of those who regularly used the drug agreed it should be outlawed. But a substantial minority - 35% - felt that khat use helped to maintain cultural identity.

The home secretary has asked the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs to report by next month on whether the drug should be banned. Khat leaves are legal in Britain but their active ingredients, cathinone and cathine, are listed as class C drugs. The leaves are already banned in America, Sweden, Canada and Norway. (Full story)
Matthew Fort, a Guardian journalist, wrote about his own Khat experience a couple of years ago.

No comments: