Legal access to MDMA: why and how

In the last ten years, an increasing number of global leaders, advocacy groups, doctors, lawyers, scientists and public health experts have openly supported changing the way society regulates psychoactive substances. Some of the most eminent are members of the Global Commission on Drug Policy which has identified the legal regulation of recreational drugs as the most effective way to reduce the damaging effects of drug prohibition and improve health and safety. We agree.

In the final part of our series, pharmacist Josh Donelly teamed up with Unharm director Will Tregoning to outline the main arguments for regulated, legal MDMA and what legal access in Australia could look like.

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The negative impacts of MDMA prohibition

When MDMA was first identified in Australia, governments made swift and panicky moves to ban it. They began arresting users and developed anti-ecstasy campaigns that were misleading or advertised the effects of prohibition itself. Despite these efforts however, prohibition has failed to achieve its narrow objective of preventing use. The damaging effects of MDMA prohibition itself are even more concerning than that failure.

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What would Mills have to say about MDMA?

MDMA is illegal to manufacture, import, distribute and use. There should be good reasons for that, so getting philosophical about MDMA isn't just for sunrise chats with friends.John_Stuart_Mill_by_London_Stereoscopic_Company__c1870.jpg

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The risks of MDMA: hysteria and hypocrisy vs the evidence

Since MDMA ('ecstasy') was first found to be available on Australian illicit drug markets, authorities and media have provided the public with misleading information about it, and stigmatised MDMA users. Every ecstasy-related death is reported in the press, while thousands of alcohol and tobacco related fatalities are never mentioned. There is now ample evidence to conclude that the perceived dangerousness of MDMA is not commensurate with its real risks.

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Why is MDMA illegal, anyway?

There should be good reasons for any law that criminalises people, right? Well, in all jurisdictions in Australia, it is an offence to manufacture, traffic, possess or use MDMA. Here's a short history of how that happened.Unicorn_pill.jpg

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