Netherlands: Khat to stay legal

Somalis in the Netherlands can continue chewing khat. Minister Ab Klink (health) is not planning to ban the sale and use of the drug, according to his response Friday to parliament. Khat is not really dangerous for one's health and the group of Somali users is relatively small. Organized crime is not involved in Khat trade.

The parliament has asked last year for further study about the harmfulness of Khat and of fresh 'magic' mushrooms. Klink had meanwhile banned the latter, for Khat he will only put out information on the harmful effect that it can have, probably, on the long term.

Khat is made from the leaves and branches of a plant which is not banned in the Netherlands. It has a stimulating effect and suppresses weariness and hunger. The drug is not really toxic, but might cause cancer. People who chew khat often might be (socially) isolated.

Source: Telegraaf (Dutch)

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