Concerns over African methamphetamine-like drug (Khat) (NZ)

By ~lostgurl~ · Dec 13, 2006 · ·
  1. ~lostgurl~
    Concerns over African methamphetamine-like drug in Hamilton

    December 13, 2006
    By Simon O'Rourke
    NZ Herald

    Hamilton Police are concerned an African plant with methamphetamine-like effects is being imported into New Zealand.

    Last week 10 kilos of the plant khat (pronounced cot or chat) were discovered during searches of two houses in Claudelands, Hamilton.

    Khat is plant material from the catha edulis tree, a native to north-east Africa.

    It is also known as African tea.

    Detective Sergeant Karl Thornton says khat is a Class C controlled drug in New Zealand, as is cannabis.

    Usually chewed, brewed as a tea, or smoked, it is popular in African and Middle Eastern countries.

    Police believed it was being used by some immigrant communities in New Zealand.

    Mr Thornton said major concerns centred on the fact the drug was finding its way into the country.

    The haul found in Hamilton late last week was believed to have been imported.

    It was found packaged in 100g bags.

    In one house, 80 bags were found and 20 bags were found in another house.

    "This is a drug that is widely accepted and available amongst several communities around the world, but is highly illegal here. It has qualities similar to methamphetamine and is highly addictive," Mr Thornton said.

    "We have concerns about people driving or operating machinery while under the influence of this drug and there are also some major psychological effects that can result from using it."

    The quantity of khat seized had a potential street value of $10-20,000, Police said.

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  1. ~lostgurl~
    Pair in court after exotic drugs found (Khat) (NZ)

    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Pair in court after exotic drugs found [/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif] View attachment 1559 [/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]ILLEGAL DRUG: Detective Simon Cathcart examines bags of khat seized by police.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]14 December 2006[/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Two people appeared in the Hamilton District Court yesterday charged with importing and possessing a drug police say has methamphetamine-like qualities. [/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Unemployed man Ahmed Mohamoud, 49, and housewife Maryan Ahmed, 44, both of Hamilton, face charges of possessing the drug khat for supply, selling it and importing it into New Zealand. [/FONT][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]They entered no pleas to the charges.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif] [/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Mohamoud's charges relate to an incident on September 7 while Ahmed's relate to various periods, including selling the drug between November 6 and December 7, importing it between November 1 and December 7 and possessing it for supply on December 7. [/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The pair were released on bail with Ahmed due back in court on December 20 and Mohamoud on January 10. [/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Outside court, Detective Senior Sergeant Karl Thornton said while the drug was widely accepted and available in other communities around the world, it was illegal in New Zealand. [/FONT][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]"It's similar to methamphetamine and is highly addictive," he said. [/FONT][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]"It is popular with young people within some immigrant communities in Hamilton." [/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Customs investigations manager Bill Perry said the department had made several seizures of khat. [/FONT][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]"The most significant was a shipment of 27kg of khat imported from Australia." [/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The maximum penalty for importing a Class C drug is eight years' imprisonment. [/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]A Somali student spoken to by the Times scoffed at police claims of the danger from the drug. [/FONT][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]"Back home it is like coffee, not methamphetamine –- it gives you an alert state," he said. [/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]But a Somali community leader said ignorance of the drug's illegal status was no excuse. [/FONT][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Waikato Somali Friendship Society president Abdinasir Ahmed said it was up to people to learn the law. "Yes, in Somalia and east Africa it (khat) is not considered a drug – but here in New Zealand we know it is and the law must be respected," he said. [/FONT]
  2. Benga
    "similar to methamphetamine and highly addictive"...
    sensionalistic journalism again. Those who have chewed khat know that it is actually a rather mild natural stimulant, with psychological addiction potential, yes...Khat use is a financial problem in countries like Somalia, Kenya, Ethopia and of course Yemen where it is used by workers, and eating up a lot of their wages. It is also part of a middle-class cultural tradition in Yemen, where late afternoon khat chewing sessions are hosted, with passionate discussions, poetry and music playing. A good monography on Yemen which focuses on music and these khat afternoon is Jean Lambert's "La medecine de l'ame", medecine of the soul.
    methamphetamine like....pfouah
  3. Nagognog2
    In the USA khat was outlawed with even more sensationalistic fan-fare: "Drug-Crazed Somali Warlords!" Eeek! Hide the children!
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