By: Mo Ali/Medeshi
Somalilandsun- Khat will not be banned in UK contrary to the expectations raised after the House of Commons passed the legislation banning khat on Monday the 31st of March 2014.
The reason is because the House of Lords have since then rejected the legislation.
Sources informed us today that ” Although the House of Commons Legislative Committee voted to approve the classification of khat on Monday, the House of Lords have since rejected the necessary changes to the Misuse of Drugs 1971.”
The motion against Khat ban at the House of Lords reads as follows :
“Baroness Smith of Basildon to move that this House regrets that Her Majesty’s Government’s plans for the introduction of the draft Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 (Amendment) (No. 2) Order 2014 do not include provisions for a 12-month review of the impact of the reclassification of khat in view of the highly unusual community focus of its use, for putting a detailed policing strategy in place before a ban takes effect, or for a health strategy to prevent a transfer of addiction to other substances; and do not commit the Department for International Development to do more work with the government of Kenya to alleviate the effect of the reclassification on the Kenyan economy.”
The House of Lords are more powerful than the house of Commons in British Democracy. When the Commons passed the proposed legislation banning khat , the proposal was then sent to the Lords for approval. Unfortunately they rejected the legislation.
This is how the difference between the House Commons and the House of Lords is defined in the Politics website: “The House of Lords is the second chamber of Parliament and is also called the Upper House. Because it is not elected, it does not have the same powers as the Commons, but it retains the right to revise and scrutinise the Government’s actions and legislation.
Its independent minds and extensive expertise form a crucial check on the power of the executive in Parliament but it is much more likely to wield this power by asking Ministers to think again than to veto whole pieces of legislation.” Politics.co.uk
The whole campaign has now gone back to square one and will require fresh campaign and lobbying to move it again to Westminster. This is a major blow to the campaigners and activists who wanted Khat to be banned in UK.
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 open 24 hours a day , seven days a week. 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. It will now be business as usual at all the local Mafreshes.