Khat

Law

  • Class C (as of 24th June 2014)
  • Schedule 1

·         Possible offences:

  • Possession

               - Maximum sentence – 2 years/fine/both

  • Possession With Intent To Supply

               - Maximum sentence – 14 years/fine/both

  • Supply (including being concerned in supply, conspiracy to supply, aggravated supply and offer to supply)

               - Maximum sentence – 14 years/fine/both

  •  Production

               - Maximum sentence –  14 years/fine/both

  • Cultivation of khat

               - Maximum sentence –  14 years/fine/both

In practice maximum sentences are rarely used, for more detailed and accurate information go to our sentencing page.

What happens if I am caught in possession of Khat?

Police officers will take an 'escalating' approach to the policing of khat possession. There are three possible responses for officers to take where they believe they have found an individual in possession of khat for personal use:

1. Khat Warnings

A person found in possession of khat for the first time can receive a khat warning. Where a police officer decides to proceed with a khat warning the individual should be warned that:

  • a record of the investigation will be made at the police station;
  • the offence of possession will be recorded against them, for statistical purposes, as a detected crime;
  • this procedure does not constitute a criminal record.

2. Penalty Notice for Disorder (PND)

Where someone has already received a khat warning and is again caught in possession, then the police have the discretion to issue an on the spot fine ('PND') for £60.00. If the PND is paid within 21 days no further action will be taken and no criminal record will exist. A PND can be challenged, and if challenged will result in criminal proceedings at the Magistrates Court. Failure to pay will result in a fine for the original penalty plus 50% (£90) being registered against the defendant at their local Magistrates’ Court. A person has a right to refuse a PND but this will probably result in arrest.

3. Arrest

An individual who has received a khat warning and a PND and is caught again for khat possession should be arrested and taken to the police station. At this point, and depending on the circumstances, either the matter will be dealt with by way of charge, caution or no further action (including the possibility of issuing a further cannabis warning or a PND).