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Mandatory Jail Terms Proposed For Ecstasy Users in LA

Author: Jonty Adderley
Friday, January 11, 2002
Californian authorities are attempting to introduce new laws with would mean minimum 90 day prison terms for anyone discovered to be under the influence of MDMA (ecstasy). People testing positive for MDMA in their blood streams would face immediate incarceration in a move drug law reformers condemned as Orwellian.

"SB 1103 (the bill's official title) goes beyond conventional drug possession or distribution laws in the extent to which it creates a 'thought crime'- merely being under the drug's influence," the Drug Reform Co-ordination Network pointed out.

"Even if MDMA were the dire threat some claim it to be, this bill would still be the wrong way to go and would do great harm to our nation's youth."

Labelling the US government's reaction to ecstasy as "wildly disproportionate", they pointed out that just 27 ecstasy related deaths have occurred in the US between 1994 and '98, compared to "the tens of thousands (of deaths) from aspirin!"

The relatively high death rates associated with aspirin were also cited in an editorial in the Guardian (UK) this week, which suggested ecstasy penalties should be reduced.

"Waging war on drug users only produces war on our children, as increasing numbers of parents have become aware," the highly respected newspaper said.

"Ecstasy kills fewer people than aspirin. It was given out to armed services in the (2nd World) War to keep them awake- the same reason clubbers use it today."

Please visit to register your disapproval of this legislation, DRCNet suggest.

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