Busted for Khat at Memphis Smart Mart

Above: Ethiopian man has been charged with possession and
an intent to sell Khat, a controlled substance in the U.S. The
stimulant is widely used as a recreational drug in East Africa.

My Fox Memphis
by Tealy Devereaux

Updated: Monday, 05 Jul 2010

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – One Mid-South man is behind bars after police caught him with a large amount of Khat at Memphis Smart Mart.

Smart Mart at South Highland and Southern was closed for business around 11 a.m. Monday morning. The store was back open to customers by that afternoon.

Police said the temporary shutdown came after the only employee on duty was arrested for the possession of a unique drug to Memphis called Khat.

“We don’t see it a lot. But we understand that people are addicted, are using it. They can chew it, chew the leaves, smoke the leaves, they can also brew it in tea,” said Lieutenant, Mike Shearin.

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8 Responses to “Busted for Khat at Memphis Smart Mart”


  1. 1 Teshome Abdissa Jul 6th, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    I don’t know about the side effects, but {from my experience} it’s stimulating ability is {milder} compared to coffee and cacao. I am not certain about how much is consumed abroad, but it is the most widely used crop in east African countries like Ethiopia and it is tied to the region’s social, cultural and economic mores for most of the farmers in Southern, southwestern and eastern part of the country.

  2. 2 Osman Jul 6th, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    Milder than coffee? Are you kidding me? come’on. Maybe milder than cocaine.

  3. 3 DJ Jul 6th, 2010 at 3:09 pm

    I used to chew Qat when I was a student in Ethiopia. Many students, teachers and writers use it. It keeps them alert and clear. The effects are actually more like cocaine than any other substance, except that it takes longer to get the high or mirqana. It usually involves an elaborate cermeony of sitting in a comfortable matress while chewing khat and the aromma of chai and sisha in the air are all part of the process. After two hours of doing that, then you’re good to go! The major difference between khat and cocaine is that the latter is taken on-the-go and fits the fast-moving lifestyles of big cities in Europe and America. Khat is a bit more chill, but the negative results on society is the same. Just look at Somalia, where most of the leaders have affinity for it. They have a failed state on their hand. I am convinced Khat has everything to do with it.

  4. 4 Ye Oak Town Lij Jul 6th, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    Yeah, but Qat also gives you big fetata eyes. It is illegal to distribute controlled substance in the states. If you do something stupid and illegal, you get busted. That’s the moral of the story for me. Finito!!

  5. 5 Khat Jul 6th, 2010 at 6:21 pm

    I am legal in Britain.

  6. 6 Jara Jul 7th, 2010 at 5:13 am

    Speaking of side effects, some people report that it is good for sex. Just like Viagra. And others say it has the exact opposite effect: it prevents erection, but makes one suffer with high appetite for intercourse, unable to perform.

  7. 7 Ayele Bekerie Jul 10th, 2010 at 1:39 am

    Dear Tadias,

    Here is another perspective on Chat:

    Khat-Plant Kill Cancer Cells

    Therese Bredholt’s PhD work shows that extracts from the khat plant may provide better treatment against leukemia.

    BY KRISTIAN JENSEN

    An article published in “På Høyden” explains how Therese, who recently completed her public defense at The Gade Institute/Department of Medicine, has shown that extracts from the khat plant may have a positive medicinal effect on leukemia.

    The khat plant

    The khat plant is used as a stimulant in parts of Africa and Arabia. The plant contains the narcotic stimulant cathinone which, on a molecular level, is quite similar to amphetamine. Extensive usage of the plant has been linked to several negative consequences for the user, such as high blood pressure, increased risk of acute myocardial infarction and various conditions of the gastrointestinal system. In spite of this, the plant has also been used as a medicinal drug against for instance malaria, influenza and chest pains.

    A new substance

    Experiments conducted by Therese during her PhD work revealed that extracts from the plant were more toxic to leukemia cells than to normal white blood cells. This could pave the way for the development of new and better treatment strategies against leukemia as an alternative to the conventional chemotherapy.

    Through her studies of the medicinal effects of the khat plant, Therese further discovered a substance (phenylpropanoid glycoside) in the plant which has not been described earlier. Therese’s research shows that it is this substance, and not cathinone, which is effective against the leukemic cells. It is possible that this substance represents a novel compound and Therese is currently aiming at full characterization of the molecular structure of the substance. Therese hopes that in time the substance may be utilized to develop a new anti-cancer drug.

    Here you will find the complete article from “På Høyden” (In Norwegian only)

  8. 8 thomas Aug 20th, 2010 at 1:12 am

    khat is legal in UK! Not in USA. And elsewhere it’s really a social drug!

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