Khat drug arrest in North Georgia

A Stone Mountain man was arrested last week in Bartow County after a traffic stop yielded 400 bundles of a drug known as khat.

The Atlanta Journal Constitution has the story.

The Bartow-Cartersville Drug Task Force believes that the value of the drugs may exceed $250,000. Police found the drugs after pulling over Hussein Dahir Sheikaden’s vehicle on I-75 for failure to maintain lane. A K-9 unit discovered the drugs in two suitcases. Sheikaden was born in Somalia, but resides in the U.S. on a work visa.

The drug, khat, is legal in much of the world including many parts of Europe; however, it is illegal in the U.S. It is primarily found on the Arabian Peninsula and in East Africa. The drug produces a high similar to methamphetamine when chewed and is known for having an extremely short shelf-life.

This type of prosecution sounds familiar to us. Several years ago, our firm was involved in a drug case that was one of the first U.S. prosecutions involving ayahuasca, a root that was primarily used in religious ceremonies. It appears that both federal and state drug enforcement agents are continuing to expand the “drug war,” and arresting people for possessing anything that might conceivably have an intoxicating effect.

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