By: Mo Ali/ Medeshi
Somalilandsun – Many Khat addicts will leave Britain in the coming months after Khat ban comes into effect by the end of 2013.Currently there are hundreds of Khat Mefreshes (Khat session halls ) in London alone with many more in the other major cities of UK.
Among these khat Mefreshes is No 15 which is located just next to Southall Train Station . No 15 , like many others, is open 24 hours and is frequented by young drop outs who chew khat in shifts . Some sleep in the chewing hall during the night while others seek shelter else where . The same process is repeated in khat sessions hall (Mefreshes ) in West Ealing , Hayes , Wembley, Harlesden ,Hounslow , Woolwich, White Chapel , Streatham and many more Boroughs of London .
Khat has destroyed the lives of families , caused family separations and is the main cause of mental illness among the Somalis in the UK . Yet Somalis defend its usage by claiming that Khat is a lesser evil than other drugs. It is assumed by the wider Somali public that Khat is Halal and is religiously permitted .
Adverse effects of khat: a review : “Catha edulis (khat) is a plant grown in the countries around the Red Sea and on the eastern coast of Africa. Its leaves are chewed by the local people for their stimulant action. Its principal active constituents are cathinone and cathine, which have sympathomimetic actions. Migration of Africans from these countries has spread the habit of khat chewing to the West. Chewing khat has a number of important psychological and physical sequelae. ‘Khat-related’ psychosis is very similar to that seen following use of amphetamines.”
The home office has recently passed a law banning Khat import and usage in the UK . It will be classified as an illegal drug effective the end of 2013.
The questions is where will these khat consumers head to? Holland – The only country where almost all drugs are free to buy from shops has also banned the use and sale of khat in the country. Khat is also banned in the rest of Europe as well as in North America.
I think both Somaliland and Somalia as well as neighbouring Djibouti , Ethiopia and Kenya should be prepared to absorb these weirdos into the mainstream society for self rehabilitation.