asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they have completed their examination of the evidence of the effects of khat; and what new research they have commissioned, as foreshadowed by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Home Office, Vernon Coaker, in his letter of 21 July (reference M12715/8). [HL5848]
The Government recognise the concerns surrounding khat and this is reflected in the 2008 drug strategy action plan which made a commitment to look at the individual and social harms associated with its use.
The review of the existing evidence base (both UK and international research) is ongoing. Simultaneously we are progressing plans for new primary research to consolidate our understanding of the individual and social harms associated with khat use. This work will comprise discussions with members of the communities where khat use is prevalent, as well as with treatment providers and other practitioners. The research will seek to engage Somali, Yemeni and Ethiopian communities in areas of the UK where these communities are concentrated. The work is due to be completed in spring 2009.