Government to ban herbal stimulant "Khat" and make it a C class drug
Khat is a leafy plant which acts as a stimulant when chewed. It is commonly used in the UK, predominantly by members of the Ethiopian, Somali and Yemeni communities.
The herb is meant to make people more alert and increase energy levels, with supporters saying that it is of no more dangerous than tea or coffee.
The Home Secretary, Theresa May, wants to re-classify the herb as a C class drug, thus effectively banning its use. However, the Home Affairs Committee is opposing the ban, stating that it is in direct contradiction of the medical advice that the Government itself has received. The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs said in January that there was insufficient evidence that the herb caused health problems.
Khat is currently already banned in most of Europe as well as in the USA. Mrs May said "Failure to take decisive action and change the UK's legislative position on khat would place the UK at a serious risk of becoming a single, regional hub for the illegal onward trafficking".
Anyone caught in possession of a C class drug can be given a sentence of up to 2 years in prison and face an unlimited fine. Supplying or dealing in C class drugs carries a sentence of up to 14 years in jail.
If you have been charged with any drugs offence, please contact us for advice.
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