Earlier this month, the Journal of Psychopharmacology published the study “Who is ‘Molly’? MDMA Adulterants by Product Name and the Impact of Harm-Reduction Services At Raves,” about MDMA purity and whether laced samples are less likely to be consumed. Researchers found that only 60 percent of the 529 samples collected contained any amount of MDMA in them. Seasoned drug users already know that purity is a crapshoot, but this is hard evidence that what’s being sold as MDMA simply is not—for the most part.
The study measured samples of drugs sold as molly or ecstasy at events throughout the country over a five-year period. It’s the first of its kind in the United States, and the findings are major: not only is MDMA often adulterated, but researchers from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Denver-based Healthy Nightlife found that on-site pill-testing has a deterrent effect. In other words, if a user finds their supposed-MDMA has been adulterated, they’re far less likely to use it and endanger themselves with the unknown contents of their pills or powders.
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Sens. Chuck Grassley and Dianne Feinstein recently introduced the Stop the Importation and Trafficking of Synthetic Analogues (SITSA) Act of 2017. This act would create a “Schedule A” classification, banning importing new synthetic drugs deemed “substantially similar” to existing illegal drugs before testing their safety. If passed, the SITSA Act will be another step down the unfruitful path of prohibition.
Prohibiting a drug causes more problems than it solves. When a substance is banned, people can no longer rely on the government to enforce contracts for the sale and transport of the substance. This means that the only way to protect property and selling rights is through violence. Drugs don’t cause violent crime—prohibition does.
Read more at: The NY Observer
On May 31, Ross Ulbricht lost his appeal with the Second Circuit appellate court. He will serve out the remainder of his life sentence, a sentence passed down in part due to allegations that he commissioned multiple murders-for-hire. Whether or not Ulbricht ordered these hits, his case illustrates how, by criminalizing drugs, the United States government has created an institution that incentives violence.
Ulbricht did not begin with violent intentions. He was an Eagle Scout who founded The Silk Road as a beacon of freedom. He agonized over the idea of a hit: As Wired reports, “He had talked to Inigo [an employee] about how he just wishes the best for people, and loves them in the libertarian spirit—even Green [Ulbricht’s first alleged target], in flagrante delicto.” But for Ulbricht and others involved in the drug industry, violence was in his self interest…
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