Could ecstasy be sold over the counter?

There have been calls for party drug ecstasy to be made legal over the counter.

Also known as MDMA, ecstasy has become a fixture of the younger generations’ party culture due to its euphoric and energetic effects.

But what is not common knowledge is that MDMA has been shown in studies to be highly effective in treating PTSD and even cancer.

Currently, possessing ecstasy is illegal. It is often manufactured in unsafe environments and can have lethal effects, as was evidenced in the tragic death of Georgina Bartter earlier this year.

According to Melbourne pharmacist Joshua Donelly and leading doctor Professor David Penington, many Australians taking the drug were probably swallowing contaminated versions that put them at greater risk of harm because it was manufactured illegally with no quality control, reports Fairfax.

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But in order to harness the benefits of this drug, the Australian government should legalise the drug, says the pair, and regulate its production and sale through pharmacies.

And in comparison to other drugs, MDMA causes negligible harm to users. MDMA came 17th on Britain’s Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs in 2010 on a list of 20 drugs according to the harm they caused. In comparison, tobacco came in at 6th and alcohol took the top spot – and they’re legal. What does this say about our drinking and smoking culture?

According to its advocates, most research on the drug had focused on people who took illegal ecstasy pills, not pure MDMA. Professor Penington said, “Australians are one of the highest consumers of MDMA in the world, yet we resolutely resist exploring the fact that most of the uncommon ill consequences of its use arise from impurities in illicitly manufactured drug and the ‘illicit’, uncontrolled circumstances of its use,” he said.

While there are no plans yet to make MDMA legal over the counter, it is an interesting debate if you think about how many people die per year from alcohol and smoking, versus those who die from marijuana and ecstasy. In the latter case, very few.


Tell us below: do you think that ecstasy should be sold over the counter?