Thursday, June 14, 2012

B.C. health officer: Legalize ecstasy

VANCOUVER — B.C.’s top health official says taking pure ecstasy can be “safe” when consumed responsibly by adults, despite warnings by police in Alberta and British Columbia about the dangers of the street drug after a rash of deaths. Dr. Perry Kendall asserts the risks of MDMA — the pure substance originally synonymous with ecstasy — are overblown, and that its lethal dangers only arise when the man-made chemical is polluted by money-hungry gangs who cook it up. That’s why the chief provincial health officer is advocating MDMA be legalized and sold through licensed, government-run stores where the product is strictly regulated from assembly line to check-out. Just like the growing chorus for marijuana legalization, Kendall believes crushing the dirty ecstasy-saturated black market and its associated violence requires an evidence-based strategy that revolves around public health. “(If) you knew what a safe dosage was, you might be able to buy ecstasy like you could buy alcohol from a government-regulated store,” Kendall said in an interview. He posits that usage rates would decrease.

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