September 12, 2002
12:49 PM   Subscribe

WOD hits new low in ridiculosity. From the Shameless Scare 'Em for Ratings files: Flush from the 911 hyper-commemoration news frenzy, but just a little disappointed that the evil-doers didn't do any (as hyped), the news media finds itself on 912 with too much time on their hands. What to do? Break out the tried-and-true emerging drug menace story you keep on hand for just such a news lull!
Khat, (briefly) touted as a new drug menace back when our boys were (briefly) in Somalia, was then shilled as the drug that made somalis into raving homicidal maniacs. IT'S BACK!! According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, chronic use can cause violence and suicidal depression similar to amphetamine addiction, though the agency said it was unaware of any examples(emphasis mine). no laughing now, they want you to take this threat seriously Some say its harmless, others like to compare it to Methedrine
posted by BentPenguin (18 comments total)
Wow, this is the second time today I've seen a post bash Metafilter unintentionally.
posted by thanotopsis at 1:02 PM on September 12, 2002

How so (for we the obtuse)?
posted by goethean at 1:08 PM on September 12, 2002

How so (for we the obtuse)?

The link has been removed. When first posted, "WOD" linked to metafilter.
posted by frykitty at 1:09 PM on September 12, 2002

It was a forgotten link in the URL field, so it defaults to BentPenguin, was there a URL you wanted to post for the first sentence?
posted by mathowie at 1:12 PM on September 12, 2002

I dunno if it's all FUD. My hometown has a big Somali immigrant population and the scuttlebutt around town is that it's the "latest drug fad".
posted by briank at 1:16 PM on September 12, 2002

I knew some guys in DC (immigrants from Somalia) that used to chew this stuff. They said you could compare it most closely to chewing tobacco. They swore it was harmless.
posted by cell divide at 1:18 PM on September 12, 2002

FUD I know. Someone want to clue me in on WOD?
posted by WolfDaddy at 1:28 PM on September 12, 2002

War On Drugs, I'm guessing...
posted by websavvy at 1:33 PM on September 12, 2002

I chewed a lot of Qat in Yemen, and let me tell you, this is hardly the next big drug.

It creates the mental alertness of caffeine without the physical jumpiness. It comes with the added bonus of a baseball sized wad of damp leaves in your cheek.

Taxi drivers and physical laborers like the anti- fatigue properties. Others like to chew it as a social act. Frankly, I got more of a buzz off the tobacco water pipe we smoked during Qat chews than any effect of the Qat itself.

If the club kids are hoping to get high off of Qat, they are in for a surprise.
posted by ednopantz at 1:36 PM on September 12, 2002

Yeah. The Yemenis here in Detroit chew it too. I friend of mine, a devout muslim, got talked into trying it by some Yemeni friends. Wullah, brother, its halal! He described feeling somewhat flat, lazy, detached. As addictions go, probably not much different from that morning cup of coffee you gotta have. It is a big part of the culture apparently, not unlike Pan in south Asia.

mmm, Pan...
posted by BinGregory at 1:39 PM on September 12, 2002

I'd just like to applaud BentPenguin for the use of "ridiculosity." Not actually a real word, but it gets the idea across so much better.
posted by mikrophon at 1:52 PM on September 12, 2002

My understanding was that khat had to be consumed within 48 hours of when it was picked or it lost its potency. Since it grows only in a mountainous region of Kenya (again, according to what I read -- I'll defer to ednopantz for on-the-spot experience), it has to be flown overnight to Yemen and Somalia (the main places it's used). I wonder how they're getting it fresh in Detroit?
posted by languagehat at 2:02 PM on September 12, 2002

DEA spokesman David Jacobson in Detroit said no ethnic community is targeted.

posted by Grimgrin at 2:08 PM on September 12, 2002

I'd just like to applaud BentPenguin for the use of "ridiculosity." Not actually a real word, but it gets the idea across so much better.

Why shouldn't it be a real world?

English ain't a dead language.

posted by effugas at 4:21 PM on September 12, 2002

Why shouldn't it be a real world?

Ahh! A Descriptivist! Everybody run!
posted by cortex at 4:35 PM on September 12, 2002

Why shouldn't it be a real world?

An exemplerary example, as the Leader of the Free World would put it.
posted by Wet Spot at 5:25 PM on September 12, 2002

It is possibly the #1 crop in Yemen, plus Somalia, as I understand. In Yemen, yesterday's Qat is worthless. They apparently cut it in the early morning, wrap it in plastic, and drive it to urban markets in the afternoon. Those Qat farmers had nicer Landcruisers than anyone else--the bizarre circumstance of the Qat economy is that instead of typical hyperurbanization and rural poverty, you get the reverse. Qat producing areas do pretty well, for an impoverished nation, that is.

You used to be able to buy it in certain parts of Queens, I understand, where Yemenis would get it flown in for weddings and such.

Apparently, the DEA got interested after reporters told of wild eyed Somali gunmen getting hopped up on Qat and massacring civilians. My guess is they massacred civilians then chewed Qat to relax afterwards.
posted by ednopantz at 6:18 PM on September 12, 2002

"Fighting Khat in Columbus - DEA praises tough new local purdah ordinances confining males to the house" (can't find link)
posted by sheauga at 8:15 AM on September 14, 2002

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