The poisoning of suburbia

By Ted Oehmke


Salon Staff
July 10, 2000 11:15PM (UTC)

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When are we just going to wise up and legalize drugs so that we have some quality control? Most studies I have read attribute nearly all ecstasy-related deaths to pills that weren't really ecstasy. If we got the industry out in the open, the FDA could regulate quality, we could tack on a hefty luxury tax and STILL beat current street prices.

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The ecstasy "problem" isn't going away anytime soon. I've never met anyone who tried it and didn't want to try it again. It's immensely popular, and I don't see that changing as long as the rave scene is as hot as it is today. Why continue this charade? Why don't we start going about this like rational, pragmatic adults?

Every time I see an MDMA lab go down, I'm a little more wary of buying my next pill, because I no longer know where it came from or what's in it. The current U.S. policy is actually harming the public more than if they had just left it alone.

-- Aaron Batty

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When I had the great pleasure of studying abroad in one of the more enlightened countries on this globe, the Netherlands, a similar outbreak of fatal ecstasy emerged in the Amsterdam rave scene.

Fortunately, the Dutch police view drugs as a health issue and not a criminal issue. Before the next rave weekend, the government had established "adulterant detection stations" on the premises of the raves.

As long as our relationship with drugs is a "war" we shall continue to miss the mark vis-`-vis its casualties -- our fellow citizens.

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-- Steven G. Harms


Salon Staff

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