Khat. A harmless natural stimulant or a lethal epidemic sweeping through the international drugs trade? Khat is a natural substance that, in the Middle East, is as ubiquitous as coffee is in the West. It is hugely popular in some African and Arab populations. But critics contend that it is a seriously addictive stimulant that damages the cardiovascular system. In a groundbreaking study, the authors go behind the veil of the drug, questioning its availability and its effect on its Red Sea producers. Interwoven with case studies from Djibouti to Rome, The Khat Controversy goes deeper to explore contemporary issues relating to globalization, ethnicity and culture. With its popularity escalating in London, Rome, Toronto and Copenhagen, khat is fast becoming a problem in the West. The first study of this contested drug, The Khat Controversy provides a concise introduction to the issues surrounding khat usage and suggests how policymakers should address them. The Khat Controversy: Stimulating the Debate on Drugs has received an honorable mention for the African Studies Association's 2008 Melville J. Herskovits Award.
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List of Figures, Tables MapsPreface AcknowledgementsIntroduction1. Going Global: The Khat ControversyKhat and its effectsMogadiscio to MinneapolisTrust technologyPart I Khat in the Horn2. Devil's Cud or Farmers' Boon?Diversifying in the dollar leafEthiopia's khat farmersForeign exchange, taxation the khat economy3. Trading the Dollar LeafEthiopia's khat marketsThe export trade4. Consuming Habits along the Red Sea LittoralThe Ethiopian heartlandsUrban DjiboutiSomalilandPart II Khat in East Africa5. Made in Meru: A Market HistoryTraditions colonial controlsCo-operatives exportsKhat wars a global brand6. Kenya's Khat TradeNyambene beyondReaching the consumerCampaigning against khat7. On the Khat Frontier: UgandaUganda's 'new' producersHidden retailingSurveying consumptionPart III Khat in the Diaspora8. The Ambivalent AmphetamineStrains and tensionsA Mafrish in the neighbourhood9. Transnational DebatesInternational tradeKhat and crimeThe social issues10. The Politics of Khat ControlThe khat control lobbyKhat in CanadianThe Swedish storyConclusion11. Prohibition? Khat and the Drugs DebateAppendix A: List of InformantsBibliographyIndex