Ban on Khat
The drug Khat is to be banned in the Netherlands. The drug damages your health and results in social problems. Khat - fresh leaves from the Khat plant - is mainly used by Somalis.
Minister Leers (Immigration, Integration and Asylum), Minister Schippers (Health, Welfare and Sports) and Minister Opstelten (Security and Justice) announced the ban in a letter to the Lower House. The Cabinet bases the ban in part on an investigation by the Trimbos Institute into the use of Khat in the Somali community in the Netherlands.
Khat is addictive. Moderate use does not cause major problems, but research shows that its use does cause problems among some ten percent of its users. In such cases it leads to damage to the health of users and to major social problems. Municipalities experience major hindrance from the distribution, trade in and use of Khat. Problematic Khat use also causes socio-economic disadvantage.
Minister Schippers will shortly include Khat in List II (soft drugs) of the Opium Act. This will make the trade in and possession of Khat punishable. Khat has long been prohibited in most other European countries.