A leading Australian doctor and Melbourne pharmacist have called for a radical change in the sale of ecstasy arguing it should be handled and sold over the counter to reduce the harm of contaminated black market pills.
The current stance by the Government is a complete zero tolerance approach which leaves the decision to the final user of the product who more often then not will consume it along with "thousands of other people" every weekend according to The Age.
As it stands the production of ecstasy is in the hands of illegal drug manufactures who often don't consider the quality and instead opt for capital gain by cutting up the pure form MDMA with adulterated substances.
This has thought to have led to the recent death of an Australia girl at a harbour party due a filler known as PMA and found in various batches of ecstasy over the years with time and time again toxicology reports proving adulterants causing a vast majority of the problems.
Their argument pushes for the government to take control of the process and make sure the consumer is getting a safer product free of any toxic filler.
Part of their views stems from a report by the Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs in 2010 which ranked MDMA 17th, far behind alcohol that took the #1 spot. Backed further by comments from Professor David Nutt, the British government's former top drug adviser saying that taking MDMA was likely to be "safer than horse riding."
In terms of the changing stigma around the drug the US drug enforcement agency recently approved for trials of the drug for people suffering anxiety from life threatening diseases and in Amsterdam the first ever (faux) ecstasy shop opened up to educate users on how to consume the drug safely.
With Australians said to have ingested over $7 billion in a 'cocktail' of drugs last year and a growing trend of using the online dark web to purchase them the government may be forced to consider such radical ideas to keep people safe.
The idea of over the counter sale puts responsibilities on the registered owner of the pharmacy, who by law has to keep the drugs out of the hands of minors and can share knowledge of safety and reasons not to purchase and consume them, much safer than it's current process.
Should Australia consider over the counter sale of ecstasy?