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Chewing over Khat prohibition

Klein, Axel and Jelsma, Martin and Metaal, Pien (2012) Chewing over Khat prohibition. In: The globalisation of control and regulation of an ancient stimulant. Legislative Reform of Drug Policies . Transnational Institute, Amsterdam. (KAR id:28596)


In the context of a fast changing and well documented market in legal highs, the case of khat (Catha edulis) provides an interesting anomaly. It is first of all a plant-based substance that undergoes minimal transformation or processing in the journey from farm to market. Secondly, khat has been consumed for hundreds if not thousands of years in the highlands of Eastern Africa and Southern Arabia. In European countries, khat use was first observed during the 1980s, but has only attracted wider attention in recent years.

Discussions about appropriate regulatory systems and the implications of rising khat use for European drug policies4 should take cognizance of social, demographic and cultural trends, and compare the existing models of control that exist in Europe. Khat provides a unique example of a herbal stimulant that is defined as an ordinary vegetable in some countries and a controlled drug in others. It provides a rare opportunity to study the effectiveness, costs and benefits of diverse control regimes. As long as khat is legally produced and traded, it also allows for the views of stakeholders such as farmers and traders to be included in policy discussions.

Item Type: Book section
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare > HV5800 Drug habits and abuse
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research > Centre for Health Services Studies
Depositing User: Tony Rees
Date Deposited: 11 Jan 2012 14:11 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 08:45 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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