By: Mo Ali/Medeshi
Somalilandsun – Despite ban , khat is is till pouring in the United Kingdom . Eyewitness have told Medeshi that Mafreshes in West london were awash with smuggled Khat last night. The price has also gone up from £2.5 to £10 a bundle . On June 24 2014 the ban on Khat in UK came into effect .
The police have assured community leaders in a meeting held at Earls Court earlier that whence the ban comes into effect , there would be no more illegal import of Khat into the country . That promise is not holding ; at-least for the first week after the ban .
There are tens of airports in England alone and the Khat traders are clever enough to switch ports. London Heathrow may not be the illegal import hub but small airports such that in Lutton could be used to smuggle the drug.
The current price of smuggled Khat could deter those that cannot afford , but will be used by those who can. This is contrary to the aim of banning khat and will simply enrich the traders.
Effects of Khat on Somalis
Khat has destroyed the lives of many Somalis in Britain . In addition to mental and dental health problems, it is the major cause of family break-downs among the Somali communities. Visit No 15 Mafresh at Southall next to the train station. It is still open 24 hours a day , seven days a week despite the ban. Addicts sleep there in shifts. Some even use cars parked in-front of the Mafresh as their sleeping places. Other cities and towns in UK have the same style Mafreshes as No 15 which are still open.
What is khat?
Khat is a leafy green plant containing two main stimulant drugs which speed up your mind and body. Their main effects are similar to, but less powerful than, amphetamine (Speed). Khat is used mostly in North East Africa, and the Arabian Peninsual and by expatriate communities from these regions.