Why MDMA Should Not Have Been Made Illegal

Hundreds of therapists and psychiatrists use MDMA-assisted psychotherapy with thousands of patients suffering from terminal illness, trauma, marital difficulties, drug addiction, phobias, and other disorders. With many anecdotal claims of benefits, users showed little evidence of problematic physiological or psychological reactions or addiction. Scheduling and the attendant media attention on the controversial public hearings created an expanded market. But the scheduling process was fraught with problems, with the Drug Enforcement Administration’s emergency scheduling itself declared illegal by the courts and its scheduling criteria overturned. Ultimately, criminalization had little deterrent effect on the recreational user population while substantially reducing its therapeutic uses. Perhaps the most profound effect of MDMA’s illegality has been the curtailment of scientific research and experimentation with a drug that held therapeutic potential.

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