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Legalizing Ecstasy

Have you ever believed in something your entire life, only to come to terms that your belief is miss-informed? Recently something like that happened to me. For a speech class I had to do research on a popular drug called ecstasy, used at raves and underground parties. My first take on the drug was that it was very unstable and that it could eventually lead to death. Obviously you believe most stuff you read in the news, and so I took the news to heart about ecstasy. The problem was that the source of my information was really unsubstantiated rumor. I used to believe that all drugs were bad no matter what but in fact, after extensive research on ecstasy, I discovered that there is therapeutic value in that the drug helps patients of therapists open up more during sessions. I believe the DEA should lift the ban it has placed on ecstasy.

Obviously you are taught from an early age that all drugs are bad and using them is only for the bad and scary people of the world. But research has shed new light on the popular drug ecstasy. Ecstasy was developed and patented in the early 1900?s, but it wasn?t until the 1970?s that it came in to the hands of a therapist. About to retire from a life long career in therapy, he was convinced by a friend to try the drug. The following day he abandoned his plans of retirement and went on the road, touring the United States, introducing this new drug to therapists. During this time he spoke to over 4000 therapists and convinced them to at least try the new experimental drug. Almost all of them decided that it was of use and started implementing it in their sessions. At this time there was no consequence for using or possessing the drug. It wasn?t until 1985 that the DEA got word of this new drug and put it into a Schedule 1 category ban, the category for non-medicinal and non-researchable drugs. Use of ecstasy all but disappeared in the U.S., until recently. In the last ten years use of ecstasy has begun to show up again, mostly on college campuses and at underground rave parties. Although the drug is still banned, therapists have also begun to use ecstasy again on willing patients. With the euphoric like effects of the drug it makes a person open up.

The way the drug works is really very simple. After Ingestion the drug enters the blood stream on a direct course to the brain. Ecstasy targets Axon cells. Axon cells contain the chemical Seratonin, a chemical that controls your mood and body temperature. Ecstasy focuses the Axon cells to release Seratonin, flooding the brain. With increased Seratonin in the brain, it causes euphoria and extreme happiness. Sensations become brighter and more intense, making users feel a sense of belonging and a sense of carrying no shame from past events. With the openness amongst users, it is very easy to speak freely about sensitive episodes in people?s lives. But what other things will this drug make me do or feel?

Common short-term side effects that accompany the drug are eye twitching, restlessness, nausea and headaches. Long-term side effects have only been found in chronic users. These effects could include restlessness and slight memory loss. But who doesn?t lose a little bit of memory in the late years of life? Any of these effects can be found in minor prescription drugs and most over the counter drugs. Sacrificing the side effects, for the legalization of this drug, could prove to be useful. Eventually Ecstasy could be used as a common medication to cure depression. Losing your job, losing your love or even just being in a dull mood could all be cured for 8 hours, using Ecstasy. It could revolutionize the industry and replace the very expensive Prozac, another anti-depression medicine. Scientific evidence has not been able to prove that ecstasy is dangerous or physically addicting. Although Ecstasy could cause users to want to repeat the experience there is no physical addiction.

The reason this drug strikes me as so useful is that my family is full of manic depressants, and those that attend psychiatrist?s sessions on a regular basis. Many of my family members use Prozac regularly and rely heavily on its power. But, one common complaint I hear among family members is that they are unable to open up during therapy sessions. They feel intimidated to open up over tough issues in their lives. I believe that if Ecstasy use were implemented, it would carry an enormous amount of improvement. Opening up more may also give insight on how to naturally cure depression, without the use of ecstasy. But there is problems getting ecstasy legalized.

Ecstasy is still under a Schedule 1 ban, a group that carries the highest penalties for possession and dealing. Even today, Ecstasy users are still prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. For this ban to be lifted there is a few things that would need to be done. A medical group would have to come along and convince the DEA that ecstasy is not as harmful as originally thought. If the DEA moved Ecstasy into a Schedule 2 category it would be legal for medicinal research to be done, but only on animals, not humans. Lab tests would need to be set up and results most likely would come after 3 years of research. Already, at this point, a lot of money has been spent. But, if the medical group can prove that Ecstasy?s positive effects outweigh its negative effects, than the DEA may lift the ban.

Hoping for abolishing the ban any time soon is pretty much impossible. With the way the DEA and Government works, research would be challenged legally and most likely stopped before it ever started. The budget would have to be extensive, which, this day and age, is becoming harder and harder to find. Most investors are very hesitant to go against super powers like the DEA and the government. We can only hope that sometime in the near future people will begin to open their eyes to new and experimental drugs. After all, we?re not going to find the cure for Aids or Cancer if we ban every new drug before they can be thoroughly tested.

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