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Associated Press, Published November 23 2010

Appeals Court: Khat is illegal in Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Court of Appeals says possessing khat (KOTT) is illegal under state law.

The court issued the ruling Tuesday, in a case involving two men convicted of possessing the plant native to East Africa. The plant gives users a high when it is chewed.

Attorneys for the men challenged the convictions, saying state law prohibits possessing "mixtures" containing controlled substances. They said since khat is a plant, it is not a mixture.

But the appeals court says the legal definition of "mixture" includes anything that has mass and occupies space — and the judges say the plant fits that definition.

In addition, the judges say khat contains cathinone, which is a controlled substance under state law.

The court upheld the convictions.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.