Khat Criminalised as Class C Drug Offence

The Government has decided to make khat an illegal Class C drug. The ban on khat will come into effect
on 24 June 2014. BSB Partner Jonathan Black considers the impact of the new change in the law.

What will happen if you use khat from 24 June in England and Wales?

From 24 June 2014, police will be able to use khat warnings and penalty notices for disorder (PND) for £60 to adults.

This means that if the police find you with khat which is meant for your own personal use, you can:

  •                 face arrest for your third possession offence
  •                 be given a warning for the first possession offence
  •                 be given a penalty notice for disorder (a £60 fine) for your second possession offence.

Will the ban on khat apply in both public and private places?

Yes. Khat will become an illegal Class C drug and this will apply UK wide.

What happens to under 17s caught with khat?

Young people aged 17 years of age, or under, cannot be given a Khat Warning or a PND for possession of khat. Section 65 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 requires that such young people be considered for a youth caution, youth conditional caution or prosecution.

What happens if you trade in khat once it becomes an illegal Class C drug?

If you are caught, the police will take action and there is a risk of prosecution. As a Class C drug, it will be illegal to supply, possess with intent to supply and import khat. Sanctions for these offences for Class C drugs are up to 14 years imprisonment, an unlimited fine or both.

Supplying khat to your friends, even if you give it away, is also considered ‘supplying’ under the law.

If you are accused of possessing or supplying drugs (including legal highs) we can provide free and independent advice from an experienced Criminal Defence Lawyer in this area. Contact