By Eileen Ormsby. Photograph courtesy of The Age.
Health experts say it is less harmful than alcohol, so why is ecstasy illegal?
HAVE you seen Molly? She makes me want to dance. The posters plastered on walls around Melbourne are often met with a nudge and a wink by club goers. “Molly” is the slang term for MDMA, better known as ecstasy. And it makes a great number of Australians want to get on the dance floor.
Taken mainly as a party drug, ecstasy causes the user to be more energetic and alert. It lowers aggression and anxiety, leads to euphoria and creates increased empathy and a sense of intimacy with others. According to a 2010 government report, one in 10 Australians over age 14 has used it, the highest per capita rate in the world.
At first glance, this seems alarming – hundreds of thousands of people using a drug that carries the same classification as heroin or crystal meth. But is this alarm warranted? If ecstasy were a legal and available alternative to alcohol, would the social and moral and health consequences be cause for concern?