Vice Squad
Thursday, May 17, 2007
The War on Khat in the US

Pete at Drug WarRant points us to an article that indicates the extent of federal resources that have been put into service to fight the relatively mild stimulant in the US. Turns out that despite the prosecutorial ardor, it might be hard to lock the defendants in cages for significant periods of time. The 'problem' is that the the 'bad' compound in khat, the one that is categorized with heroin in US drug scheduling, breaks down within a few days into another compound that just doesn't command the same amount of hard time. The article also is noteworthy for revealing, in passing, as it were, just how weak the arguments are for criminalizing khat possession at all. It is suggested that the khat crackdown might have something to do with fighting the war on terror in East Africa -- a crackdown on a drug produced in a potential terrorist-breeding ground always being a smashing policy choice (April 25, 2007).

All is not irrationality, however. The latest figures from TRAC indicate that the post-9/11 decline in federal drug prosecutions continues apace.

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