The khat ban in the UK What about the ‘scientific’ evidence?

Klein, Axel (2013) The khat ban in the UK What about the ‘scientific’ evidence? Anthropology Today, 29 (5). pp. 6-8. ISSN 0268-540X. (doi:https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-8322.12057) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided. (Contact us about this Publication)
Official URL
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-8322.12057

Abstract

Since the 1920s certain psychoactive substances have been controlled by specially created international agencies. More recently, governments have committed themselves to using evidence in policy-making. Yet, as the ban on khat in the UK and other countries shows, the assessment process is a perfunctory rather than a decisive component. The Home Secretary set aside scientific advice and bases the decision to ban on considerations outside the health risk ratio, including crime control and counter-terrorism. However, experience shows that prohibiting substances when demand remains strong is inherently criminogenic. Indeed, the khat ban would appear to play into the hands of radical Islamist organizations. In this article, Axel Klein discusses how political calculations overrule evidence and how this is facilitated by international drug control agencies. Using the term ‘social system’ to explain the relentless extension of bureaucratic remit, he argues that control would now appear inevitable for any substance defined as a drug, regardless of evidence and consequence. As this has implications for other culture-bound peculiar substances or ‘genussmittel’ he suggests ditching the term ‘drug’ altogether.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare > HV5800 Drug use and miuse
K Law > K Law (General)
K Law > KD England and Wales
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research > Centre for Health Services Studies
Depositing User: Tony Rees
Date Deposited: 15 Oct 2013 09:05 UTC
Last Modified: 20 Jul 2016 10:30 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/35437 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
  • Depositors only (login required):