Doctors in Australia are starting to push for the legalization of the pure form of Ecstasy or MDMA. The idea behind legalization is, if the drug is regulated, it is less likely to have negative effects.
Melbourne pharmacist Joshua Donelly and Doctor David Penington are saying that people taking the drug Ecstasy are most likely taking a contaminated version that puts them at a high risk of adverse side effects. They suggest that by legalizing Ecstasy, the government can regulate the quality and in turn make it safer to consume.
British Columbia’s chief medical officer, Dr. Perry Kendall said, “The problem is not Ecstasy itself, it’is an added ingredient, PMMA, that cause(s) the users’ body temperatures to rocket to lethal levels.” Britain’s Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs in 2010 (now know as Drug Science) said that in its pure form Ecstasy is actually safer than tobacco or alcohol. During its study it ranked alcohol as the number 1 most harmful drug/substance, tobacco at 16 and MDMA at number 16.
In its pure form MDMA has similar side effects as alcohol, such as dizziness, blurred vision and dehydration. It seems that Ecstasy or MDMA are going to take a similar route to legalization as Marijuana. The DEA has given the okay to test MDMA for medical uses such as helping with PTSD and anxiety in people with life threatening illnesses.
One of the more recent studies is being done by the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies. Brad Burge, communications director for MAPS, told The Huffington Post “The smooth process of regulatory approval for this study indicates that stigma is no longer standing in the way of regulatory approval for research into the therapeutic uses of MDMA and other psychedelics.”
The study will consist of 18 people who have been diagnosed with life threatening illnesses they will have MDMA-assisted psychotherapy sessions under the supervision of a doctor. They will study the application of the drug with treating anxiety related to the end of life. “In a psycho-therapeutic context, MDMA has been reported to help subjects lower their psychological defenses and enhance their ability to process difficult emotions,” Burge said.
Whether it will be legalized for recreational or medical use, is yet to be known, but the conversation has started. Some doctors like Burge say that the stigma behind Ecstasy or MDMA might stop it from being legalized.
With studies in the US starting and people around the world talking about how the pure form is not as harmful as believed, only time will tell what the future of MDMA holds. Learn more about Ecstasy abuse and treatment.