Your Community

Should 'safe' ecstasy be legalized in Canada?

Categories: Canada, Health

B.C.'s chief provincial health officer says that MDMA, the active ingredient in the street drug ecstasy, can be safe when used by responsible adults. But Dr. Perry Kendall says he is not advocating legalized recreational use of the drug.

Police allege they seized one million ecstasy tablets during the raid on the residence on River Road in Richmond.A top B.C. health official says the danger of street ecstasy is due to impurities. (CBC)It's widely accepted that MDMA is not addictive. Kendall says that the dangers of ecstasy are overblown and mostly due to impurities introduced when gangs cook up tablets to sell.

At least 16 people have died in Western Canada since July after consuming ecstasy tablets, cut with a toxin called PMMA, obtained from criminal drug dealers.

But RCMP in B.C. say that no amount of ecstasy is safe. Police say an average of 20 British Columbians ecstasy users die each year.

Toronto's Centre for Addiction and Mental Health says the drug makes people feel happy, social and intimate with others, but can also cause teeth grinding, sweating, anxiety, vomiting and convulsions. CAMH says deaths of ecstasy users usually result from dehydration and overheating.

Should MDMA be legalized in Canada? Would regulating the legal sale of ecstasy save lives? Let us know what you think.

Corrections and Clarifications: The Canadian Press reported Kendall was advocating the legalization of MDMA, but in an interview on Thursday morning, Kendall told CBC News he has no opinion on the legalization issue.

With files from the Canadian Press.

(This survey is not scientific. Results are based on readers' responses.)

Tags: Canada, Health, law, POV

Comments are closed.