The biggest problem with ecstasy is that it's illegal
The biggest problem with ecstasy is that it's illegalOn Friday 26th of September the UK Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) will conduct public hearings as part of its review of the classification of ecstasy. Previous comments suggest that ACMD will in all likelihood recommend ecstasy be downgraded from Class A to Class B. Whilst Vernon Coaker MP, the Government's drug spokesperson, has made it abundantly clear (in his evidence to the Science and Technology Select Committee in 2006), that whatever the evidence, the Government would not change its classification.
The same day here in New Zealand the Police are manufacturing Drug Harms by the bucket load.
English kingpin behind ecstasy haul: police NZHerald, The 38-year-old Englishman was among 12 people arrested for their part in the alleged importation of 100000 tablets of the party drug ecstasy over the past ... (they found 14,000, which means 86,000 have been distributed and consumed without seemingly harming anyone! An ommision of fact consistent with the British experience. /Blair)
73 arrested, $1m in drugs seized [Stuff.co.nz], Police have arrested 73 people and uncovered up to $1 million worth of drugs in a three-month operation targeting dealers in methamphetamine, ecstasy, ...
73 arrested in drug raids New Zealand Herald
73 arrested in covert drug operation Radio New Zealand
making this all this more interesting read, Sophie Morris: Can we calm down about Ecstasy
The Transform spokesperson said:
"The ecstasy review will produce little more than posturing on all sides. Given that the Government overruled the Council on cannabis classification, the entire exercise is doomed before it has begun. The Council's time would be far better spent reviewing the harms caused by criminalising drugs in the first place.
"From Transform's perspective any reduction in unjust criminal penalties for consenting drug users is a positive step. But we remain deeply concerned that regardless of alphabetic classification, ecstasy will remain illegal, its users will still be subject to serious criminal sanctions, and the control of its production and supply will remain in the hands of unregulated criminal profiteers supplying pills and powders of unknown strength made with unknown ingredients .
"The Council's job is to reduce the health and social harms associated with the misuse of drugs. It is of significant concern that the Advisory Council is using a system of classification that was derided comprehensively by the Science and Technology Select Committee less than two years ago.
"There is no evidence that punitive law and its enforcement has anything other than, at best, a marginal impact on levels of drug use or misuse. The prohibitionist regime is unique in the public health field in deploying criminal sanctions to reduce social and health harms. It is also uniquely ineffective. The major problem with ecstasy isn't that it's classified wrongly, the problem is that it's illegal."
Notes for editors
- Transform's submission to the ACMD ecstasy review
- Transform critique of the classification system in Dugs and Alcohol today
- Science and Technology Select Committee report on the classification system
- 2006 Lancet paper on drug harm ranking
Danny Kushlick, Head of Policy and Communications 07970 174747
Steve Rolles, Head of Research 07980 213943
Transform Drug Policy Foundation is a charitable thinktank that exists to reduce harm and promote sustainable health and wellbeing by bringing about a just, effective and humane system to regulate and control drugs at local, national and international levels.
Blair Anderson ‹(•¿•)›
Also hear: Professor Colin Blakemore, a member of the independent UK Drug Policy Commission, and Dr Philip Murphy, of Edge Hill University discuss whether the illegal drug is more dangerous than alcohol.