Experts in Australia are calling for MDMA legalization
Since the “War On Drugs” began during the Reagan years, many civilians, government officials, and medical experts have been engaged in an ongoing debate about the effectiveness of the campaign. While many Latin American countries are following Portugal’s lead in decriminalization following years of violence caused by cartels and military men, most other developed countries have remained steadfast in their strict prohibition of current scheduled substances.
Recently, a Melbourne pharmacist named Joshua Donnelly and leading Australian doctor David Pennington called upon their country to enter the “War On Drugs” debate in the pro-legalization side, specifically toward the drug MDMA (commonly known as ecstasy). The two medical officials have stated that thousands of Australians consume the substance per week, and are often causing harm on themselves by taking contaminated pills on the black market that are completely unregulated. Because of the harsh prohibition and lack of regulation, what was meant to prevent harm is now causing it in increased rates.
Donnelly and Dr. Pennington aren’t without evidence to support their argument. Citing a ranking done by the Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs in Britain on the harmfulness of substances, the two noted that MDMA ranked 17 on the list behind alcohol and tobacco, which ranked 1 and 6 respectively. They also called attention to the success of PTSD studies with the drug in other countries, and to the fact that the drug doesn’t incite violence in its users but rather a more positive outlook on life. Matthew Frei, head of clinical services at a rehabilitation center, also agreed with the argument presented by Donnelly and Pennington, stating that the issue of MDMA consumption should be looked at as a health issue rather than a criminal one.
Though there is much more research that needs to be done in order to make legalization work, countries like Australia and Portugal are on a good track in showing potential benefits of taking a non-prohibition standpoint on illegal substances. Since Portugal decriminalized many drugs in 2001, the country has seen both reduced crime and usage rates. If Australia were to legalize MDMA, one of its most popular substances, not only would they most likely see the same results as Portugal, but their economy would have the potential to grow with the regularization and taxation of the substance sold in pharmacies.
Via: The Victoria Age