Letters to the Pilot
Khat not such a threat
From PAUL PETERSON / Storm Lake
Oct. 16 I saw the the story about the "Khat" drug bust in Storm Lake, and about the "new area drug threat" from this insidious stimulant (not). I read that story with interest, again and again, wondering just what lurks beneath the surface here...
Now, about your Khat drug, in general. This is a plant based alkaloid, similar to the coca leaves (cocaine precursor), the ephedra (meth precursor), also the "ma houng" drug from China, (also a meth precursor), also a kin to the opiate or poppy plant (heroin precursor), and each of those plant based drug systems, in their natural and unprocessed form, are really quite mild, and not problematic at all, and not really even "addictive", in my opinion. However, when rural citizen in far off lands are taught to "cook" the alkaloid out, by soaking the leaves of the coca plant in benzene (either gasoline of diesel fuel or poisonous chemicals used as solvent), then the drug collected as a concentrated "paste" and further concentrated into a potent form, it becomes lethal and deadly- especially where, and when, our citizens send it up the nose...
Are [police] so addicted to the "drug war" that you have to immediately lunge at just any drug as a "threat" so you can get new budget bingo's, even where the "drug threat" is not even a threat at all? You see, when the precursor drug is used in it's raw form... they don't do anybody any harm when treated properly.