THE OSLO TIMES – Europe Correspondent -
British Home Secretary Theresa May on Wednesday announced a ban on the herbal stimulant khat, going against the advice of her own experts who said such a move was disproportionate.
Khat is to be classified as a Class C drug alongside ketamine and benzodiazepines, supply and production of which is punishable by up to 14 years in jail.
It is predominantly used by immigrants from East Africa, where its consumption is widespread.
May acknowledged that the government’s Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) advised against a ban in January after finding insufficient evidence that khat was harmful.
But she noted that it was already illegal in several European countries as well as Canada and parts of the United States, and warned Britain risked becoming a hub for trafficking unless it took action.
“I have carefully considered the ACMD’s advice before reaching this decision and looked at wider concerns from communities about khat use and our international responsibilities,” May said in a statement.
She added: “Failure to take decisive action and change our legislative position on khat would place the UK at serious risk of becoming a single, regional hub for trafficking.
“Banning khat will help protect vulnerable members of our communities and send a clear message to an international audience that the UK is a hostile place for traffickers.”
Khat consists of the leaves and shoots of the shrub Catha edulis and is chewed to obtain a mild stimulant effect.
In Europe it is primarily used in social occasions by immigrants from Somalia, Ethiopia, Yemen and Kenya, although the ACMD suggested its use was declining in Britain.
On the publication of its report in January, ACMD chairman Professor Les Iversen wrote to May saying a ban would be “inappropriate and disproportionate”.
“The evidence shows that khat has no direct causal link to adverse medical effects, other than a small number of reports of an association between khat use and significant liver toxicity,” he wrote.
- Police: Sex abuse arrests in Canada began with probe of company.
- Two extremist groups face UK ban
- Britain should scrap plan to ban khat drug: lawmakers.
- UK immigration backlog ‘tops 500,000′ say MPs
- Pope Francis: Who am I to judge gay people?
- Syria – how to get beyond the impasse
- UK’s family visa system overhaul rapped
- Thailand will help with any Rohingya investigation:PM
- Ghana and UK to exchange prisoners
- Belgium King abdicates
- Turkish Court opposes the government
- Portugal battles against multi-layered crisis
- Merkel warns on youth unemployment
- The EEA and Norway Grants – Status Report
- Bali drugs case: Lindsay Sandiford loses death sentence appeal
- The Chief Correspondent of International desk of The Oslo Times Paola Aparicio Cavero conducted an interview with Jimmy Jansson (S), Chairman of city council in Eskilstuna, Sweden.
- Home Secretary, Theresa May MP, has said that the UK has no intention of granting an amnesty to illegal immigrants currently in the country. She says that this would ‘send out the wrong message’.
- Britain’s parliament debated taking action in Syria on Thursday, with Prime Minister David Cameron urging lawmakers to “make a judgment
- UK and OAS analyze drug situation in the Americas and different approaches
- US Warns Al-Qaida Could Strike Embassies, Other Targets
- Qaeda Messages Prompt U.S. Terror Warning
- A new strategy for sustainable alcohol and tobacco policies in the Nordic Region 2014-2020
- US state shutdown leaves tourists in a bind
- Somali immigrants in Norway fear that violent extremism is taking root in the community after reports of young Somali-Norwegians traveling abroad to join jihadist groups.
- UK’s Help-to-Buy Scheme Expanding
- Griffin-American Healthcare REIT II Plans to Enter International Market
- UK-born Aishah Nachiar Jameel now a Malaysian citizen after 14 years of waiting
- Jermaine Pennant Refused Entry To United States for Stoke City Tour
- US, UK Kipling scholars to visit author’s Vt. home
- UK to eases travel advice for Lebanon.
- UK sends citizen to stand trial in US
- France apologises to Bolivia
- EU’s policy on welfare needs fixing or UK will split- report
- HMAS Newcastle home from Middle East duty
- Central America: More Than 17,000 Refugees Fleeing Violence
- Liberia’s Charles Taylor prefers Rwandan jail to UK
- UK man running across U.S. in support of sobriety
- Scorpion found after hitchhiking in woman’s luggage.
- We are a few more days from defaulting on the credit of the United States of America”, warns Rep. Hoyer
- Syrian immigrants deceived by traffickers
- Bank losses cannot be ignored
- Police head sacked over underground boss runaway row
- Tony Blair: Iraq War made UK ‘hesitant’ over Syria intervention
- UK government delays decision on cigarette branding ban
- London Houses Are The UK’s Most Desired Products—They Should Build More of Them
- Recent Measures In The United Kingdom Are Eroding Right To Affordable Housing: Expert
- Path to United States Practice Is Long Slog to Foreign Doctors
- U.S. says visas from gay spouses will get equal treatment
- Bosnian in Vt. accused of lying about war crimes
- Liberia: First Time in the United States – a Doting Reflection of Washington D.C