Breaking News:Dangerous Delays: What Washington State (Re)Teaches Us About Cash and Cannabis Store Robberies [REPORT]

Khat is a Harmless Plant. So Why is D.C. Trying to Prohibit it?

Posted in:
As if we don’t already have enough crime problems to worry about here in the Nation's Capital, the D.C. City Council is trying to create one out of thin air. As we reported in Friday's Drug War Chronicle:

Last fall, at the urging of DC US Attorney Jeffrey Taylor, Mayor Adrian Fenty (D) introduced a proposal to criminalize fresh khat as a Schedule I drug, as it is under federal law. The DC City council is currently considering the proposal as part of its 2009 Omnibus Crime Bill and is likely to act on the measure before its session ends July 15.

Khat use is such a total non-problem that many people don't even know what it is, thus I should probably explain that khat is a mild stimulant used similarly to coffee in parts of East Africa. It isn't dangerous or particularly popular in the U.S., so the drug's prohibition under federal law can be attributed almost entirely to ignorance and racism. Seriously, the arguments against khat are so weak and sparse that law enforcement officials have resorted to the factually-vacant implication that khat might be funding terrorism.

Tragically, the D.C. City Council has thus far failed to grasp the absurdity of all this and will be banning khat entirely within a matter of weeks if we don't stop them. If you live in D.C. please click here to tell the council that prohibiting khat doesn’t make sense.
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
Looking for the easiest way to join the anti-drug war movement? You've found it!


stop saying bad stuff about law enforcent their not rasics YOUR RASIC and i know this cause im a Officer of the law from florida and i have to say i dont approve of your silly website.You need to realize we made that stuff illegal just before kids got into it and started getting high off of it cause that stuff is dangerous you dont even understand so stop complaining or i will contact other districts to search this site and track you down and arrest you.we dont need you getting in our way of controling socity okay so back the hell off we control america your just junkies who think drugs are okay this is gods land so go fuck yourselves

Officer of the law?

So they actually hire people with your obvious lack of intelligence? (its racist, not "rasic") I doubt your honesty! Your contradictory use of God (yes it is supposed to be capitalized) and abusive language in the same sentence, is just too much to fathom. What a joke you are! The only danger I can see here is if you are actually an "Officer of the law"! God help us, if you are!

It's a joke

This is a troll. Don't feed it.

Sorry, Scott

I just couldn't resist! It is so obvious!

Khat Madness

The average victims of America’s drug prohibition propaganda speak of khat while having no idea what the stuff is or does.  They know nothing of the ancient cultural traditions behind its use.  But they are certain the herb poses an absolute threat of evil to American society.

Problem is, it doesn’t pose a threat.  It never has.  Partly because in America a cup of caffeine is easier to find and purchase than a cup of khat.  If we were Somalians, we would ingest khat.  Beyond the chemistry and mild biological effects of each stimulant, and besides race, the only other difference is culture, and we know how prohibs view alternative cultures.  Somali hippies, anyone?



shut the hell up you stupid druggie Khat is illegal for a good reason to keep it away from the kids we stoped it before it spreaded like a diesise in you're mothers vigina and yes im a COP! i graduated high school and went straight to law enforcement! I dont make fun of my typing skills you i cant spell to well.LOOK we in the law enforcement see this khat as a huge danger that funds terrorist thats why its illegal cause the money is just going to terrorist .and we believe there have been quite a few over doses of this shit

Your ignorance

You are not an officer of the law. If you were hired as a police officer may God forgive whoever did. Look at your badge to protect and serve, not to silence and control. You run America, ha! That is the most tragic thing to hear someone who should be serving our country say. You should be ashamed. Do you really think one's 30 dollars a week supply of a drug with the effects of an espresso funds terrorism? Foriegn oil funds terrorism, hell even iPods fund more wrong than khat just by being from the hands of children in sweatshops. What is happening in the pseudonations of Africa is not a result of an exported energy supplement, it is a result of an imperialistic in which our great American flag was torn to shreds. What is happening there is fault of America, that we still have yet to rediem. In the 60s law enforcement believed weed caused brain Hemorrhage and LSD created super soldiers, fools like you were more right about that than an overdose on the eqivalant of high caffeine tea leaves. Do you really think khat should be schedule 1 while cocaine is IV? Your threat of arrest without probable cause but with personal vendetta is truly disturbing. Yet what I find most enraging is your ignorance in insulting someones mother in such a grotesque way because of an opinion they voiced using the 1st ammendment to a constitution of the still great, though distorted by bigots such as yourself, United States of America; a nation under God.

Heroin trade funded Red China during the 50's

During the red scare that was the kind of exploitation fear tactics they threw at the public.

Khat is harmless

We are exporters of Khat and have used it from time immemorial and it has never harmed anyone.

We have a site in which we have collated research works on Khat from where you can orient yourself on facts about Khat instead of resulting in uninformed innuendo and insults.


"Racist" Drug Warriors

Hope this post gets some attention after the fake dumb cop stunt above. -- Khat is certainly no cocaine. But since you guys want to legalize cocaine as well, I can see why Mr. Morgan and others would be frustrated that khat illegality is being debated when you believe the devate should be raging about drugs that are, admittedly, several hundred times worse thank khat. But to attribute the US law banning the substance to "ignorance and racism" does you, I think, no great service and shuts down a genuine debate. Khat is also illegal in many European countries, including Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, and Poland. You could either attribute this to your global conspiracy vision of US prohibitionists forcing other countries to act contrary to their interests, which would again succeed in ending rational discussion, or acknowledge that there is a legitimate debate about health risks. Even Kenya has been considering a ban(though unlikely) and I would hardly call them racists. A majority of Somalis in Britain said they wanted a ban because they felt it was lowering their opportunity and quality of life in the UK. Should khat be completely illegal? Probably not. But to attribute racism and ignorance as the only possible reasons for prohibitionsists to suceed is plain wrong and ensures that when it comes to more serious stuff, the debate will go nowhere.

The regulation of khat

Khat is not internationally controlled. Extracted cathinone, which is about one fourth the strength of amphetamine, is controlled. The WHO expert committee on psychotropic substances voted in 2006 that an educational approach would be more appropriate. As for health problems, federal records show only one ER visit related to khat in a nine year period in the entire US. In England it is not controlled and it is not a major problem.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <i> <blockquote> <p> <address> <pre> <h1> <h2> <h3> <h4> <h5> <h6> <br> <b>

More information about formatting options

This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Drug War Issues

Criminal JusticeAsset Forfeiture, Collateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Court Rulings, Drug Courts, Due Process, Felony Disenfranchisement, Incarceration, Policing (2011 Drug War Killings, 2012 Drug War Killings, 2013 Drug War Killings, 2014 Drug War Killings, 2015 Drug War Killings, 2016 Drug War Killings, 2017 Drug War Killings, Arrests, Eradication, Informants, Interdiction, Lowest Priority Policies, Police Corruption, Police Raids, Profiling, Search and Seizure, SWAT/Paramilitarization, Task Forces, Undercover Work), Probation or Parole, Prosecution, Reentry/Rehabilitation, Sentencing (Alternatives to Incarceration, Clemency and Pardon, Crack/Powder Cocaine Disparity, Death Penalty, Decriminalization, Defelonization, Drug Free Zones, Mandatory Minimums, Rockefeller Drug Laws, Sentencing Guidelines)CultureArt, Celebrities, Counter-Culture, Music, Poetry/Literature, Television, TheaterDrug UseParaphernalia, Vaping, ViolenceIntersecting IssuesCollateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Violence, Border, Budgets/Taxes/Economics, Business, Civil Rights, Driving, Economics, Education (College Aid), Employment, Environment, Families, Free Speech, Gun Policy, Human Rights, Immigration, Militarization, Money Laundering, Pregnancy, Privacy (Search and Seizure, Drug Testing), Race, Religion, Science, Sports, Women's IssuesMarijuana PolicyGateway Theory, Hemp, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Marijuana Industry, Medical MarijuanaMedicineMedical Marijuana, Science of Drugs, Under-treatment of PainPublic HealthAddiction, Addiction Treatment (Science of Drugs), Drug Education, Drug Prevention, Drug-Related AIDS/HIV or Hepatitis C, Harm Reduction (Methadone & Other Opiate Maintenance, Needle Exchange, Overdose Prevention, Pill Testing, Safer Injection Sites)Source and Transit CountriesAndean Drug War, Coca, Hashish, Mexican Drug War, Opium ProductionSpecific DrugsAlcohol, Ayahuasca, Cocaine (Crack Cocaine), Ecstasy, Heroin, Ibogaine, ketamine, Khat, Kratom, Marijuana (Gateway Theory, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Medical Marijuana, Hashish), Methamphetamine, New Synthetic Drugs (Synthetic Cannabinoids, Synthetic Stimulants), Nicotine, Prescription Opiates (Fentanyl, Oxycontin), Psilocybin / Magic Mushrooms, Psychedelics (LSD, Mescaline, Peyote, Salvia Divinorum)YouthGrade School, Post-Secondary School, Raves, Secondary School