Vice Squad
Monday, May 09, 2005
Khat In Britain

The Somali expatriate community in Britain provides a sizeable market for imports of khat, according to this BBC story:
Around seven tonnes of khat leaves, which is an evergreen shrub which grows in mountainous areas across Africa, is estimated to be imported into the UK each week from Ethiopia, Yemen and Kenya.
Khat is legal in Britain, though illegal in the US and Canada. Here's a summary of the effects of khat consumption, taken from the linked BBC article:
It is a stimulant, making the user more alert and talkative
It is an appetite suppressor
If chewed over a few hours, it produces a state of calm
A chemical found in khat could boost the power of men's sperm
Long-term use can bring on insomnia, heart problems and sexual problems
Can bring on anxiety and aggression
Can bring on irritability, anger or violence
Excessive chewing can lead to sore mouths and infections
It can bring on depression
It is associated with mental health issues among users

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