Does Khat cause health problems and social harms? The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs undertook an exhaustive review of evidence, and heard social and medical scientists, community leaders, and the public. The findings indicate more research is needed, and that local authorities and public health bodies, police commissioners and criminal justice agencies should review local needs and concerns. Khat is legal in the UK, illegal in the USA and many European countries. The state of the art evidence suggests legislation to criminalise it is not evidence based, but driven by unfounded concerns about the cultural and biological harms it can inflict. There are some legitimate health concerns and more research is needed to assess the risk of mental illness, cardiovascular disease and maybe even oral cancer.
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