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Legal Status
by Erowid
Caution :   All legal information should be verified through other sources. [see below]
Catha edulis
Schedule I Chemical
Khat is not specifically listed in any schedule in the United States. However the federal government appears to be treating Khat as equivalent of Cathinone, one of the chemical constituents in the plant. Cathinone is Schedule I in the United States, making it illegal to manufacture, buy, possess, or distribute (sell, trade or give) without a DEA license.

It is reported that the cathinone in Khat breaks down quickly and after only a few days, only cathine is left. The DEA temporarily (emergency) scheduled cathine in Schudule IV on May 17th 1988, but there is some confusion about whether the appropriate administrative measures were taken to permanently add it to Schedule IV. Regardless of whether it was properly scheduled, the US federal government has considered cathine a Schedule IV drug for over twenty years. Multiple Federal Register entries and DEA documents describe cathine as a Schedule IV compound. See /freedom/law/federal_register/58.FR.4316.shtml and Khat Faces Legal Challenges, 2007.

Individuals in the US have been successfully federally prosecuted for possessing and distributing dried khat leaves intended for ingestion. Dried leaves, intended for ingestion, courts will likely find constitute a "material or preparation" containing a schedule I substance, and thus controlled under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). Cases such as: a man from Portland, Maine convicted in 2002 for 'intent to distribute' dried leaves. For live plants, not intended for ingestion, the law is ambiguous and has not yet been fully resolved.

The DEA considers khat "an illegal plant", but the DEA's views are not law and do not have the force of law. See DEA's 2002 Briefing on Khat for more information on their view of khat. In two entries in the Federal Register, the DEA mentions khat and their view of its legal status, but in the scheduling of cathine and cathinone, the DEA chose both times not to list the plant itself and thus the plant remains in a legal grey area.

Note: Most states have schedule cathine (and cathinone) properly; hence prosecutions at the state level don't hing on the federal cathine scheduling technicality issue described above.
Alaska #
Catha edulis is controlled in Alaska. In June 2013, a man was charged with possession of a green leafy material on suspicion it was Khat. See (thanks g) (last updated Jul 30 2013)
California #
Catha edulis is controlled in California. Per the state legislative information site, "Khat, which includes all parts of the plant classified botanically as Catha Edulis, whether growing or not, the seeds thereof, any extract from any part of the plant, and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the plant, its seeds, or extracts" was designated Schedule II effective January 1, 2011. Uniform Controlled Substances Act, Chap. 2 Standards and Schedules [11055]. (thanks s) (last updated Sep 6 2016)
Missouri #
Catha edulis is Schedule I in Missouri, "to include all parts of the plant presently classified botanically as catha edulis, whether growing or not; the seeds thereof; any extract from any part of such plant; and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the plant, its seed or extracts." [Missouri Revised Statutes - Drug Regulations, August 28, 2008]

If you have information about the legal status of this substance in any other U.S. state, please let us know.
Australia #
As is often the case with Australian law, the status of khat is rather murky. Khat does not appear to be federally regulated in Australia, but its active compounds cathine and cathinone are. This may mean that the plant itself is not illegal unless it is harvested or consumed (unconfirmed). Import of khat is regulated and requires a permit. Import law allows "up to 5 kg of khat per month per individual for personal use" under certain conditions and with the correct permits, but this would not supersede state prohibitions on khat if they exist. See Office of Chemical Safetey Khat information sheet for more information. (thanks C)
Belgium #
Khat became controlled in Belgium on Oct 22, 2006. [EMCDDA reference]
Canada #
Khat (Catha edulis) is schedule IV in Canada. (Note: Canadian schedules are very different than U.S. schedules.)
Israel #
A specific note in Israel's Dangerous Drugs Act states that the law banning khat's psychoactive chemicals does not apply to "khat leaves in their natural state intended for chewing". Cathinone, Cathine, and Methcathinone were added to the list of controlled Dangerous Drugs in early November, 2004 after cathinone was sold in capsules "Hagigat" and several people were reported to have required medical attention. See See Psychoactives Law : Israel. (thanks KP, ELI)
Italy (Italia) #
Listed in Tabella I of "Tabelle delle sostanze stupefacenti e psicotrope", making it illegal to possess, purchase, or sell. (see Tabelle delle sostanze stupefacenti e psicotrope. (thanks a) (last updated Dec 16, 2015)
Kenya #
A recent study "What Harm: Kenyan and Ugandan Perspectives on Khat" by Beckerleg published in May 2006 said that there is no medical reason for a khat ban in East Africa. See
Netherlands #
Khat was banned in January, 2012. See Previously, cathinone and cathine were banned, but the plant was legal. (thanks b) (last updated Aug 29, 2015)
Norway #
Khat and all of its parts are illegal in Norway. (see Forskrift om narkotika) (thanks SR)
Somalia #
According to the BBC on Nov 17, 2006, the Islamic group currently in control of much of southern Somalia banned Khat. (See BBC Nov 17)
South Africa #
Cathinone and Methcathinone are controlled, but Manton Hirst reports that the plant itself is, as of 2004, protected and the SANAB is no longer on an eradication campaign. See Khat in South Africa for more info.
U.K. #
Against the advice of the formal advisory group, the UK government banned Catha edulis (khat) as a class C drug on May 12, 2014. See

Cathinone and cathine are classified as Class C drugs in the U.K., but khat and its leaves are currently uncontrolled and are widely available. We have been told that small bundles sell in Scotland for £3-£5 (GBP) and are often wrapped in banana leaf with twine. Driving under the influence of khat is considered "impairment" and is not legal. The U.K. serves as a major hub for exporting and/or smuggling khat to other countries including the United States and Canada. See Khat (Qat): Assessment of Risk to the Individual and Communities in the UK (PDF) for more information. (thanks KS) UPDATE: JULY 3, 2013: On July 3, 2013, Home Secretary Theresa May announced that she plans to ban Catha edulis in the UK, making it a Class C drug; those caught trafficking the plant will face up to 14 years in prison and an unlimited fine (see Written Statement to Parliament: Khat), while those in possession face up to two years in prison and a fine. Additionally, "To ensure a proportionate and robust policing response, the Government will introduce an escalation framework for the possession of khat for personal use, similar to that in place for cannabis." (see Khat to be made a Class C drug) May's decision to ban the drug goes against the advice of the Home Office's Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, which recommended that khat should remain legal earlier this year. No date has been announced yet when the ban will take place.
If you have information about the legal status of this substance in any other country, please let us know.

Erowid legal information is a summary of data gathered from site visitors, government documents, websites, and other resources. We are not lawyers and can not guarantee the accuracy of the information provided here. We do our best to keep this information correct and up-to-date, but laws are complex and constantly changing. Laws may also vary from one jurisdiction to another (county, state, country, etc)...this list is not comprehensive.