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[Contents][Appendix 1]
[Reference 152][Reference 154]

E is for Ecstasy by Nicholas Saunders

Appendix 1: Reference Section

153 X at the Crossroads by Dr. J Newmeyer of Haight-Ashbury Free Clinic, San Francisco, June 1993

"At present MDMA enjoys the greatest growth potential among all illicit drugs. I believe that MDMA will either gain de facto tolerance, or 'marijuana-like acceptance' to the larger society or will undergo a hostile 'LSD-like' rejection. The next 24 months will be decisive . . ."

Factors favouring acceptance:

1. Declining salience of the 'drug abuse problem'. Since 1985, the proportion of Americans citing drug abuse as the number one problem has declined steadily. This means that it would be difficult to open up another front in the war on drugs. To wage war on MDMA will require that public outrage be whipped up once again, . . . that people not of the 'criminal type' be jailed.

2. Low incidence of adverse reactions. Millions of uses result in only a handful of serious problems being reported. The dearth of MDMA horror stories leaves opponents without the ammunition needed for a campaign of suppression.

3. Articulate proponents. Unlike users of heroin or 'crack', many MDMA users are from the educated middle class who go on to obtain high qualifications and influential jobs. They will provide strong opposition to suppression.

4. Harm prevention campaigns. These will further reduce the number of mishaps, and thus the number of horror stories.

Factors favouring rejection:

1. Tendency for more use by people who are less educated and have more personal problems. This is likely to produce more adverse reactions, thus lowering the reputation of the drug.

2. Increased use in rave setting in more likely to produce adverse reactions. Use late at night among strangers in harsh surroundings is the opposite to the 'ideal setting' recommended by cognoscenti: well rested, during daytime in a calm environment with a few trusted friends.

3. Media coverage distorting problem. A few spectacular mishaps out of millions can mis-educate the public into believing the drug is more dangerous than, say, alcohol.

4. Puritanism. Deeply embedded cultural hostility to pleasure and idleness may be aroused by the behaviour of MDMA users. Newmeyer concludes that he is certain that by June 1995 there will be a striking swing in public attitude oneway of the other.

[Contents][Appendix 1]
[Reference 152][Reference 154]
E is for Ecstasy by Nicholas Saunders (
HTMLized by Lamont Granquist (