U.K. could ban khat, labels vegetable harmful | WBEZ
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U.K. could ban khat, labels vegetable harmful

The United Kingdom could ban khat, a vegetable stimulant with slight hallucinogenic properties when chewed. Khat, also known as miraa, is cultivated in eastern Africa and is popular among Kenyan, Somali and eastern African immigrants in the United Kingdom. British Home Secretary Theresa May stated that the vegetable could trigger social and health hazards. Critics, however, argue that there has been no significant evidence indicating that khat is harmful. In fact, May’s proposal to ban khat went against the advisement of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, a public group of doctors and pharmacologists that classifies drugs. Some argue that the khat ban is an effort to curtail immigration of eastern African immigrants into the United Kingdom. The ban has triggered protests in Meru, Kenya, where thousands of farmers earn their livelihood off the crop. Dr. Axel Klein, lecturer in the anthropology of conflict, criminal justice and policy at the University of Kent, gives us a glimpse of the world of khat. (Photo: AP Images).

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