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Volume 406: debated on Thursday 5 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) whether he plans to classify khat as a Class A drug; and if he will make a statement; [115296](2) what research his Department has carried out into the impact on the health of individuals of khat; and if he will make a statement. [115297]

[holding answer 3 June 2003]: My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary has no plans at present to control khat under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, but the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, which advises on these matters, keeps its legal status under review.There has in the past been only limited research on khat, carried out by either the Home Office or the Department of Health. However, the Home Office's Drugs and Alcohol Research Unit is shortly to embark on a detailed study to assess the level of harm caused by khat. It is expected that a final report will be completed in autumn 2004, with interim findings being available in spring 2004. The report will inform future decisions on whether khat should be controlled within the 1971 Act.