July 7th, 2015


(no subject)

This morning, for shits and giggles, I looked up NZ's Expert Advisory Committee on Drugs' advice to the Minister of Health on MDMA in 2004 (which is the most current advice there is available on MoH website, and recommended that MDMA move from part 2 to part 1 of Schedule B, which indicates higher likelihood of dependence and more powers of search, surveillance, and penalty). Check this out:

"Hospital data is unable to provide definitive information about the health related impact of MDMA."

"The New Zealand Health Information Service reports that there were no deaths associated with stimulant use in New Zealand between 1990 and 1996 (NZHIS 2001). Three MDMA-related deaths have been recorded by coroners since 1998."

"New Zealand law enforcement data indicates growing ATS (amphetamine type stimulants) availability, however, some data systems do not currently distinguish between MDMA and other ATS."

"The combination of evidence from animal and human research provides mounting evidence for a neurotoxic effect of Ecstasy. However, the long term functional consequences of Ecstasy use in humans remain uncertain."

" Although some commentators would undoubtedly disagree, many well-respected researchers, academics and practitioners suggest that the risk to public health of MDMA is relatively low."

" There is no conclusive evidence to either prove or disprove the contention that MDMA has therapeutic value."

" The available evidence suggests that the risk of death after using solely MDMA is low."

"The most recent and rigorous research in this area suggests that, although MDMA use disorders do occur, they are a relatively transient and youth-specific phenomenon, and only a small proportion of regular MDMA users are likely to develop chronic problems in controlling their drug use."

"The assessment and classification of MDMA by the World Health Organization and the United Nations drug control treaties, clearly recognises that MDMA's liability to abuse constitutes an especially serious risk to public health, and that it has very limited (if any) therapeutic utility."

No, I didn't cherry pick this - it's the EACD's own summaries.

The way I read this, it says
- we don't know the public health impact but it's likely to be low
- it's unlikely to cause death
- the jury's still out on whether it has any therapeutic value, but that's only because researchers aren't allowed to research it
- risk of dependence is confined to a small group of users and appears temporary
- everyone else is treating it as though it's harmful.

Thus, we conclude that it should be Class B1 - that is, a high risk of harm with the highest penalties available in the second Schedule.

To which I go "Um, WTF?"

Here it is in all its glory for the interested.