AUSSIE POLICE SEIZE THREE TONS OF KAVA

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The mild stimulant is highly regulated down under

By James Glenday MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, Oct. 13, 2010) - Police in Australia's Northern Territory say more than three tonnes of kava has been seized in remote Arnhem Land communities in the past year and a half.

Kava is an intoxicating substance.

It's traditionally used on the Pacific islands, but police say large amounts of kava are smuggled into the territory from the eastern states.

The Territory's Substance Abuse Desk spends about half its time trying to catch kava traffickers.

Senior Constable Bradshaw says between 100 and 200 kilograms of kava is seized in an average month.

"That's a lot of kava flowing into the territory and it's a little bit difficult to say what percentage we're actually intercepting."

He says kava abuse does not cause as many social problems as alcohol ... but it's still having a devastating financial and health impact on several remote communities in Arnhem Land.

[PIR editor’s note: According to Australia’s DrugInfo Clearinghouse, importing, selling and advertising kava in Australia is strictly controlled under the Customs Regulations Act. Only a person with the appropriate license and permit may import and sell kava in Australia. However, there is no prohibition against the sale and use of kava – a mild stimulant - in greater oceania]

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