Is ecstasy the next therapy drug?

Drugs are a hot topic in today’s world, as they have recently landed in the spotlight of public scrutiny. Voices on both sides of the controversy stress the importance of some controlled substances as well as the risks, but the question remains: are the penalties for drug possession too severe? In California, that question may soon arrive at an answer. Similar to the debate surrounding the legalization of marijuana, some officials are debating the benefits that ecstasy could provide for those suffering from a number of complications. 

Attitudes towards drugs such as ecstasy are certainly changing, and many Californians are wondering if money spent toward penalties for possession is too much. Earlier this year LA Weekly commented on this topic, asking whether those arrested on ecstasy charges should receive lighter prison sentences. The legalization of marijuana has made a large splash in the state; could ecstasy be next? The Weekly anticipated the upcoming United States Sentencing Commission’s public hearing on the guidelines surrounding sentences involving the drug also known as MDMA, and noted that drug advocates planned on attending the meeting. Of course, the sentencing reconsideration of other drugs, specific demographics related to ecstasy charges and the potential risks of the drug are some of the main factors that will help officials accurately discuss of reducing prison sentences.

Months prior to LA Weekly’s article on ecstasy and prison sentencing, other officials in the nation weighed the pros and cons of looking to ecstasy as relief from post-traumatic stress disorder. The New York Times showcased this topic, illustrating one former soldier’s account of joining a small drug trial in 2013 that tested the effects of MDMA on the body. With the goal of determining whether these effects helped treat PTSD, this study was particularly beneficial for some ex-servicemen. The trial also extended to sexual assault victims, police officers and firefighters. While there is still much to be discovered in these studies, doctors and experts hope to see the drug become available to those in need of therapy by 2021.   










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