Pubdate: Sun, 14 Jul 2002
Source: Dallas Morning News (TX)
Copyright: 2002 The Dallas Morning News
Author:  Dale Greer, Dallas

Khat Decision Odd

It seems insane to me that the Drug Enforcement Administration would make a 
nearly harmless drug like khat illegal in the same class as cocaine or 
heroin. From the effects as described in Todd Bensman's June 27 article, it 
sounds barely more psychoactive than caffeine or nicotine. If khat is so 
bad, why doesn't the DEA make those drugs illegal? But the purpose of a 
bureaucracy is to increase its own power and prestige, and this 
rescheduling of khat is an easy way to do that. Too many of their own 
number smoke tobacco, drink coffee and imbibe alcohol, so it's no good 
making those drugs illegal. Much better to ban something that few Americans 
use, and most of those being from Africa, who will care deprives them of a 
harmless pleasure?

Dale Greer, Dallas
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