Cardiff youth worker urges ban on legal high khat
Published: 27th May 2012 09:30:22
A Somali youth worker is calling for the UK government to ban the legal high, khat.
Mohammed Dualeh of the Somali Youth Association in Butetown, Cardiff told BBC Radio Wales that the stimulant is killing his community.
There are also concerns that excessive chewing of khat is leading to mental health problems and family breakdowns.
The Advisory Council for the Misuse of Drugs is carrying out a review and preparing a report.
In an interview for the Eye On Wales programme, Mr Dualeh said: "Khat is a killer, it's deadly, and it's really sad that the UK government allows it to come here, when the USA and much of Europe bans it.
"I hope the government comes to its senses and bans this material from the UK."
Khat is illegal in the United States and many countries within Europe.
Earlier this year, Holland banned it, and the pressure will now be on the government to stop khat from entering the UK.
Khat tears everyone apart and is destroying our families and community”
Khat comes from plants grown in East Africa, and has been chewed for a stimulant effect in countries like Yemen, Somalia and Ethiopia for centuries.
Taken within normal social boundaries, it acts in the same way that a few shots of espresso coffee might. The user becomes more alert and sociable.
But concerns have been raised by some people in the affected UK communities that the younger generation is taking the drug out of its normal social context.
They are worried that excessive chewing is leading to mental health problems and to the breakdown of families. One of the concerns is that it is time consuming.
Saeed Ebrahim from Butetown in Cardiff said: "The khat arrives in Cardiff in the afternoon. By the time they sit down and start chewing, it can be seven in the evening until seven in the morning.
"If you chew 10 hours, then you need another 12 hours to sleep. It takes up their lives."
Mohammed Dualeh told BBC Wales: "Children are losing their dads. Men don't wake up in the morning and take their responsibilities seriously. Wives are left carrying the pieces.
"Khat tears everyone apart and is destroying our families and community."
Khat was last reviewed by the Advisory Council for the Misuse of Drugs in 2005.
The council advised that it should not to be classified under the misuse of drugs act.
It recommended instead that there should be targeted education about the dangers of khat if it is chewed excessively and repetitively.
Samira Shaddad of the Yemeni Community Centre believes that this the best way to deal with the problem, but she told Eye On Wales that she has seen no awareness-raising campaigns in Butetown in Cardiff.
But Unlike Mr Dualeh, she believes a blanket ban on the drug could make matters worse.
"Could banning it lead to other things?," she said.
"Would the younger generation find something else to socialise with, like cannabis or cocaine? How many young people would we be visiting in prisons?
The Advisory Council for the Misuse of Drugs will report to the government later this year.
Eye on Wales is broadcast on BBC Radio Wales at 16:30 BST on Sunday and is also available on the BBC IPlayer.
At 01:36:25 in HeadlinesInfo
At 01:35:06 in HeadlinesIt's been 200 years since the British burned Washington, but objects looted in 1814 will probably never be returned, writes Tammy Thueringer.
At 01:17:49 in HealthExciting a specific part of the brain with electromagnetic pulses could boost our ability to remember certain facts, a study in Science suggests.
At 01:15:39 in HealthA study of smokers in Australia suggests there is "no evidence" that the introduction of 'plain' cigarette packaging has changed the way people buy cigarettes.
At 01:13:44 in WorldIn Nashville, Kurdish immigrants have built a community to replace the home many were forced to flee. In a co-production with the BBC, Public Radio International's programme The World took a tour of the area.
At 01:09:15 in HeadlinesSoldiers at Ivory Coast's Sipilou border crossing into Guinea, where the Ebola outbreak started earlier this year, stare blankly into the distance.
At 00:51:10 in WorldA philanthropist couple have launched what they say is the world's first privately funded boat to help migrants in trouble at sea. But can one ship really help the thousands of people who try to cross the Mediterranean each year?
At 00:37:51 in ScotlandPortraits of some of Scotland's leading female politicians have been captured on canvas.
At 00:33:34 in ScotlandAs the people of Scotland weigh up how to vote in the independence referendum, they are asking questions on a range of topics.
At 00:26:27 in HeadlinesIslamic State (IS) has released a video appearing to show the beheading of a Kurdish man as a warning to forces fighting the group in northern Iraq.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. Cardiff youth worker urges ban on legal high khat [Online] (Updated 27th May 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1431141/Cardiff-youth-worker-urges-ban-on-legal-high-khat [Accessed 29th Aug 2014]
News In Other Categories
Portraits of some of Scotland's leading female politicians have been captured on canvas.
MP for Clacton Douglas Carswell has announced that he is leaving the Conservative Party and plans to force a by-election in which he will stand for UKIP. How receptive are his constituents?
Hospitals in England will be expected to provide a higher standard of food under new legally-binding rules.
With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
England manager Roy Hodgson insists his side are "not heading to mediocrity" as they prepare to begin their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign next month.
Google has built and tested autonomous aerial vehicles, which it believes could be used for goods deliveries.