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Customs Agents Seize 150 Lbs. of Plant-Drug Khat at PHL Airport

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(Photo provided by US CBP)

(Photo provided by US CBP)

Kim Glovas Kim Glovas
Kim Glovas has been covering breaking and developing news as a...
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By Kim Glovas

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The US Customs and Border Protection agency has been busy intercepting packages at Philadelphia International Airport over the last week, and putting US residents on notice about making illegal purchases over the Internet.

It started last Thursday, and continued with at least one seizure yesterday.

CBP says it seized a total of 150 pounds of khat, a plant which is a controlled substance in the US.  When chewed it causes loss of appetite, excitement, and mild euphoria.

The World Health Organization labels khat a drug that can be abused but is not seriously addictive.

But the Drug Enforcement Agency classifies khat as a Schedule 1 narcotic, the most restrictive category used by the DEA.  The World Health Organization says the plant loses its potency about 48 hours after being harvested.

Six separate packages of khat destined for residents of several states were intercepted.  The packages also included 140 tablets containing codeine, and 16 vials of steroids.

The CBP says the 150 pounds of khat has a street value of about $45,000.

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