On Tuesday, Somalia agreed to lift its recently imposed ban on imports of the mildly psychoactive leaf khat after an outcry of protest from angry cultivators in its western neighbor Kenya. The decision was announced at a summit of East African leaders in the Somali capital, Mogadishu—the first such gathering in 40 years in the war-torn region.
While it is widely chewed in Somalia, khat (also called miraa) is grown in Kenya and Ethiopia, where large farming communities rely on exports for their livelihoods. Reversal of the ban is apparently effective immediately. Kenya’s foreign minister Amina Mohamed said at the summit, “The leaders have discussed relations between the two countries and… the Miraa ban will be lifted by September 14th.”
Somalia’s authorities banned imports of the leaf on Sept. 5 without any explanation—although it was almost certainly an appeasement of Islamist sentiment. (When jihadists were in power in Mogadishu for several months during 2006, they vigorously cracked down on khat.)
The reaction to the ban from khat growers was swift.
“This is a big loss to us,” Dave Muthuri, chairman of the Kenya Miraa Farmers & Traders Association, told AFP. “Farmers are crying because of the loss they are incurring. It caught everyone off-guard.”
Kenyan farmers already took a hit when the United Kingdom banned khat in 2014. Britain’s large East African immigrant community consumed the leaf, chewing it after meals in traditional manner.
Khat, which is of course outlawed in the U.S., has been demonized in the Western press—portrayed as far more powerful a stimulant than it actually is, and dubiously linked to terrorism. This last canard is basically a reversal of reality, as the jihadis want to ban the stuff—along with cannabis.
Cody Alt Builds CBD Company in 7 Months, Now Launching Cannabis Products
Lawmakers Want To Charge Doctors Who Prescribe Cannabis With A Felony
7 Scientists Who Smoked Weed
Moms Who Get High
Recreational Marijuana in Canada Will Be Delayed
10 Best Vape Pens of 2017 for Cannabis Concentrates
10 Best Dab Rigs Of 2017
How To Grow Organic Weed: A Step-by-Step Guide
6 Sickest Space Bucket Designs
11 Markets That Benefit From Weed Legalization
Products4 days ago
10 Best Portable Vaporizers of 2017
Guides1 week ago
6 Ways To Get Better Bong Rips
Products2 days ago
10 Best Quartz Bangers Of 2017
Entertainment2 days ago
Nine Authors Who Smoked Weed
Culture1 day ago
The Origins of Your Favorite Weed Slang
Health1 week ago
How To Treat Endometriosis With Cannabis
Dispensaries1 week ago
First Medical Marijuana Dispensary In Texas Open For Business
News1 week ago
How Much Are Canadians Paying For Marijuana?