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  1. buckcamp
    Police want to know how an extremely rare drug common in parts of Africa showed up in Georgia. Investigators busted a man for khat, a drug that is both a hallucinogen and a stimulant.

    Khat is a plant that grows in parts of Africa, mainly in Somalia and Ethiopia. Investigators say when they made the bust the plants were very fresh as if they had just been brought into the country. Now investigators are trying to figure out how it got to Georgia and where the drugs were going.

    Police said they found two suitcases containing khat when they pulled over 31-year-old Hussein Dahir Sheikaden for a traffic stop.

    Investigators said the plant shoots were wrapped in banana leaves.
    Sheikaden is a native of Somalia who's in the U.S. on a work visa.

    "[The] person we intercepted it from, called a mule, he was transporting it from point A to point B," Mayton said.

    Police say they are now trying find out where the drugs originated.

    It's a drug some members of the Bartow-Cartersville drug task force have never seen.

    "In 21 years, this is the first time I've even seen this drug," said Captain Mark Mayton.

    Investigators say khat only grows in parts of Africa and a couple of European countries. Khat is called a cultural drug in the Somali and Ethiopian communities.

    "People who use khat chew a shoot. It's a stimulant, like speed or meth. It's also a hallucinogenic drug, like mushrooms," said Capt. Mayton.

    Police say khat is rare and pricey.
    "Each one of these bundles is about $60 and [there were] 400 of them, so it's about equivalent to a quarter of a million dollars," Capt. Mayton said.

    It's the first time many of the drug officers have ever dealt with khat.

    They also hope it's the last time it turns up in this part of the world.

    "We know it comes from across the Atlantic," Capt. Mayton said. "We want to know what those travel corridors are so we can target those individuals."

    Sheikaden was arrested and charged with possession with intent to distribute. Police couldn't charge him with trafficking because khat is so uncommon in Georgia there isn't even a state law that covers the drug.

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/08/17/ga-police-bust-man-rare-african-drug/

Comments

  1. godztear
    That's kind of odd that he could be arrested for something that no state law upholds. How would he be convicted in state court?
  2. Terrapinzflyer
    ^^ Cathinone is a schedule I controlled substance- so Khat can be treated much like psilocybin mushrooms- a vessel containing a schedule I substance. Generally simple pocession is not prosecuted- import, transport/sale of large quantities usually is.



    It is also huge in Yemen, which last I checked was neither Africa nor Europe. But as its doubtful most in the US could find Yemen on a map...
  3. godztear
    So by what you're saying, if someone got pulled over with thousands of Morning Glories in the back of a semi then they could be arrested for possessing LSA? That seams funky considering anyone can buy Morning Glory seeds by the thousands from many different legitimate businesses.
  4. Terrapinzflyer
    I would say legal gray areas. LSA is a schedule III drug in the US, whereas both cathinone and psilocybin are schedule I - so different priorities as far as law enforcement is concerned...likewise they are both seen as far larger "drugs of abuse" .

    Likewise- morning glory does have a legitimate use as an ornamental plant (or weed depending on your view I suppose).
  5. shivakiva2112
    Khat is not a hallucinogen, and while it is a stimulant, it is nothing like "speed or meth". Sure, cathinone is an amphetamine, but the chewing of khat bears little similarity to smoking, snorting, or injecting even regular d-amphetamine.

    And 400 bundles at $60/bundle (street prices) is $24,000, not a quarter of a million, what a dumbass cop and what a dumbass reporter. Thank you, Fox news, for making the country just a little dumber.

    Oh, and of course Khat is pricey in this part of the world, it's only good for a few days after harvest.
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