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Khat in the UK
I have read lots of critics against the UK government for legalizing khat or at least not to include it as a controlled substance under the Misuse of drugs Act. The opinions formed against khat is that cathinone is structurally related to amphetamine or describing cathinone as a natural amphetamine that act as central nervous system stimulant.
The arguments mainly conducted by the media with high level of engineered English and fancy terminologies that the ordinary man cannot understand. Caffeine too is a central nervous system stimulant that is feed to children against their will or their parent's will .
The British government position is very balanced and wise from all sides such as scientific data, social problems and abuse. The native British public do not like khat and even if some try it, it is unlikely they will repeat it. However for sure concentrated level of cathinone is likely to be liked by some and it is sold widely and legally in different formats we won't be mentioning by name because it will be promoting harmful brands especially if it is accessed by children.
Khat is mild and overdose safe and there is a limit on the quantity a person can take. For example 80 cups of coffee can kill a person but who can consume such a large amount anyway unless willing to die. In order for a khat chewer to reach intoxication unknown amount must be consumed, there is no record yet by khat intoxication, it is actually safer than coffee.
First timers do not like it nor they comprehend they are under the influence because it is very mild. It takes social influence in order to participate in khat sessions and if a person culturally outside the culture of khat then unlikely to be hooked.
Common sense why would a person waste money on something that is very mild while other substance offer greater satisfactions. Children by nature do not like coffee but it takes a culture of coffee drinking to make children drink it. These cultures including putting caffeine in soft drinks consumed by children.
If you fear khat because it comes from Yemen remember that coffee too comes from Yemen, we have chewed catha edulis for centuries and it is perfectly safe. Once the cathinone is extracted the product is called something else. Do not confuse khat to CAT
The majority who chew khat from a Yemeni culture do not take any other drugs because other drugs are social taboos including alcohol, cannabis and cocaine. We do not view khat as drugs other wise by classification coffee is drugs too.
Social harm in khat chewing communities
This term is highly deceptive because it does not define the meaning of social harm!. Does it mean health problems and their impact on the society or mental problems and domestic violence? perhaps it means employment and productivity and so forth. From a justice point of view impartiality is required at all times. Impartiality means applying the same rules blindly to achieve fair judgement hence achieving justice.
A comparison between khat and other drugs should be conducted in an impartial fair manor from a prospective of social harm. Lets start by domestic violence and mental health problems as they seem to be the main cause of social dysfunction in any society including non khat culture.
Domestic violence and khat
Khat can cause aggression is totally false in every sense of the word false. However it may cause mental health problem if abused in which it can cause aggression. What I mean is that the level of aggression in a person doesn't instantly go up with consuming khat as it is the case in alcohol. Alcohol is guaranteed to cause a fight in a big social gathering while the case is the opposite in khat.
Khat makes a person friendlier than usual and more open to listen and talk. this is an essential part of its euphoric powers that is over exaggerated by the western media. A khat chewer is still in plant earth without magical euphoria. It takes time to know the euphoric effect of khat.
Does violence occur among khat chewers?
Yes it can but as normal as it can happen anywhere anytime, any place any culture. The media is deliberately presents Arabs and Muslims to be wife beaters while Islam is against social and domestic violence and it is a big shame for a man to beat his wife in Yemen. Islam and wife beating is another subject I will be discussing with proofs but it is not our subject here.
I personally think, data proves that Yemeni divorce rate is one of the lowest in the world with a notable increase in the last few years related directly to poverty. This increase in divorce rate is also noticed in the west as data in the UK suggests an increase in divorce rate during the latest financial hardship.
My question how did the media link khat to domestic violence? Every family case is individual and generalizing the experience of a few onto the majority is nothing but direct insult.
Mental health problems among khat chewers
Mental health problems are common everywhere and despite the extra hardship the Somalian and Yemeni people received I would describe them as strongly minded nations, mental health problems is relatively less in Yemen and Somalia than the rich west. according to http://www.cdc.gov/mentalhealth/basics/burden.htm depression is higher in high income countries.
1 in 4 will experience mental health problem in a given year in the UK according to http://www.mind.org.uk/help/research_and_policy/statistics_1_how_common_....
So finding a mental health problem in a person who chew khat and then generalizing that against the majority is called impartial because the common statistics is not taken into account. This only leaves us to conclude that khat is not a major cause of mental health problem even though it may if it is abused just like tea or coffee.
The impact of the British decision
Criminalizing khat is a stance of the USA and the rest just followed. I really respect the British people for being Independent from the American domestic influence or and the European influence who based their arguments and conclusion on nothing but racial and social prejudice.
The English language flourished because of the high intelligence and cultural sensitivities the British empire showed toward other cultures while the French empire struggled to deliver its language beyond a few geographical locations because of the high level of arrogance it showed toward others.