Who Hijacked Our Country

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Turning Another Corner in the War on Drugs

Thank God we're cracking down on this latest evil. Heroin? Crack? Meth? Nope, it’s even worse — Khat. What, you haven’t even heard of it? Khat is a dangerous drug used by swarthy immigrants from Somalia.

It’s a plant that’s grown in the mountains of East Africa. The leaves and shoots of this plant are chewed; it’s basically a stimulant. The plant contains cathinone — haven’t heard of that one either, right? — which became a controlled substance in 1993.

Khat is not only legal in Somalia — it’s an accepted drug. It’s almost a ritual among families and friends.

But here it’s a different story. In Seattle a 30-year-old Somali immigrant — Jama Absiya (he's now a U.S. citizen) — was greeted by six DEA agents when he got home from work one day. He was dumbfounded when they told him he was a suspect in a major drug case. He was charged with conspiracy to import and distribute Khat.

Absiya says his father used to give him a Khat stem to chew on when he was studying for an exam. When guests came to the house, Khat was a social ritual that everyone took part in. He said he had been looking forward to the day when he’d be chewing Khat with his own son.

Apparently not. We can't allow that sort of thing here.

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Blogger J. Marquis said...

Don't be surprised if Starbuck's starts using it their drinks pretty soon...

April 21, 2007 at 11:44 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

J. Marquis: For them it would probably be legalized. Big corporation, good. African immigrant, bad.

It can't be that different from Yerba Mate, which you can get at Starbucks and a lot of other coffee houses. I keep meaning to try that stuff; I can't get out of my double espresso rut.

April 21, 2007 at 12:38 PM  
Blogger People in the Sun said...

Another small triumph in the war on drugs. Now all we have to do is deport/jail these people and we win the war!!!

I'm so excited that I'm going to have to smoke a cigarette and have a beer to relax.

April 21, 2007 at 2:24 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

People In The Sun: Yup, we've won another important battle. Our ultimate solution is to jail everyone who's different, and we're getting there.

April 21, 2007 at 2:38 PM  
Blogger LET'S TALK said...

If I'm not mistaken this same drug is leagal in Israel.

April 21, 2007 at 5:08 PM  
Blogger Mile High Pixie said...

People in the Sun: Beer? Ha! Nothing settles me down after a long work day than some NyQuil! I don't need a driver's license to buy that stuff!

April 21, 2007 at 5:13 PM  
Blogger Praguetwin said...

The ultimate irony of course is the fact that when the Ethiopian army took Mogadishu, Khat was once again widely available. It was the Islamists that had cracked (no pun intended) down on it.

April 21, 2007 at 5:46 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Let's Talk: Legal in Israel, huh? I wouldn't doubt it. Our drug laws are so insane, the only way to legalize a drug is for a large corporation to get a patent on it.

Mile High Pixie: NyQuil, I can't remember if I've used that or not. If it has antihistamine in it, that'll definitely settle you down after a long workday.

PragueTwin: So our DEA and the Islamists agree on this. Oh my God, we're with the terrorists.

April 21, 2007 at 6:11 PM  
Blogger Kvatch said...

Khat is not only legal in Somalia — it’s an accepted drug. It’s almost a ritual among families and friends.

It's basically booze for Somalis--Yemenis as well.

April 21, 2007 at 8:40 PM  
Blogger Lizzy said...

The war on drugs is a joke. I say legalize everything and put that money that is being flushed down the toilet into drug education and treatment on demand.

April 21, 2007 at 9:09 PM  
Blogger People in the Sun said...

Yep. (According to Wikipedia) It's legal in Israel and in the UK. I guess they don't take wars seriously in Israel.

April 21, 2007 at 9:35 PM  
Anonymous new illuminati said...

Anything you can grow yourself is illegal of course. In fact here in Oz growing tobacco has been illegal for quite some time - unless you're a corporation.
When younger we used to plant seeds of various quasi-legal substances everywhere - parks, nature strips, wastelands - you name it. If only everyone did the same we'd have no need of toxic pharmaceuticals.
As all original hippies know, white powders are the vessels of death and only make money for evil people.
Those poor somalis - we have so many organic growable drugs that no-one's thought to ban yet here. A pity you guys are controlled by more efficient assholes.

April 22, 2007 at 12:13 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Kvatch: Yeah, I guess it's their version of the triple martini. And they probably have fewer cases of Cirrhosis of the liver.

Lizzy: Damn right. I couldn't agree with you more.

People In The Sun: Well, you know what that means. Israel and the U.K. ain't with us in the war on drugs. And as our leader says, you're either with us or you're agin us.

New Illuminati: But don't you realize, if you grow a drug or herb yourself, even tobacco, you're stealing valuable profits from a corporation. You ain't one of them turrists are you :)

April 22, 2007 at 12:26 AM  
Blogger Damien said...

Its weird stuff I remember the first time I'd heard of it was folk chewing on it in places like somalia and a few people trying to get it through costums here. Hmmm guess someone at the DEA gets the
front door carpark this week!!!

April 22, 2007 at 2:37 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Damien: That would be hard to get through customs, since they use only the fresh leaves and stems. Yup, some DEA agent got Employee of the Month, or something.

April 22, 2007 at 3:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There was another case just like this in the bay area years ago. In Fiji there is this root or herb they make into a tea and has sedative powers. It is also used in tribal communal and religious ceremonies.

A guy got caught driving under the influence (he took it because he was sick) and was thrown the book because it was an illegal substance as opposed to if he had been just drunk.

anybody remember what that stuff was?


April 23, 2007 at 8:35 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Erik: That's not Kava Kava you're talking about, is it? I know it's a root from somewhere in the South Pacific and they make a sedative tea out of it. I tried it a long time ago; I didn't like it.

But as far as I know that's still legal; I'm sure I've seen it in health food stores.

April 23, 2007 at 11:13 AM  

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