Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Cool War on Qat

Here is an interesting story from Philadelphia, Customs and Border Protection has identified that city as a distribution hub for qat (A/K/A khat). Qat is a shrub from the Arabian Peninsula and East Africa the fresh leaves of which are chewed for their stimulant effect. While legal in Yemen and elsewhere, quat is a controlled substance here. The interesting thing about this story is the generally low level of prosecutorial effort put into qat after the goods are seized.

Apparently, the anti-qat forces (if there are any) have got to get better media people. They need a Reefer Madness-style movie extolling the evils of qat and a clever commercial. "This is Haile. This is Haile's brain on qat."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

When I worked at an express consignment facility at JFK, Khat (as we spelled it) siezures were a twice weekly occurance. CBP would tag it and then leave it for days before picking it up. Imagine a box of rotting lettuce! It was a mess. No prosecutions though. CBP confided that after 9/11 they used it as an excuse to pressure Arabs for info, but nothing came of it.