I'm not that surprised, unfortunately. That's a facet that stands out a lot more when it comes to other drugs, including alcohol (with some vivid Australasian examples), but less so with respect to MDMA and its cousins.
Yes, it's probably less along racial lines than along the age gap when it comes to drugs that are primarily used by kids in night-clubs. By kids I mean people up to the age of about 30, by which time the Friday night itchy dancing feet have probably worn off and coddling up on the couch sipping beer, wine or spirits, and being able to smoke and safely consume illegal drugs without being busted has become compelling. As has calling that moderation, even if you actually do it every single night, and gradually slide into middle aged obesity watching reality TV or playing Playstation. The urgency of protecting said kids from repression drifts down the memory hole the longer it's been since you last got repressed. Eventually, it feels more like repression is a rite of passage that kids should have to endure just so they can understand why Mum and Dad got so boring.
Yay! Legal drugs, let's see how many we can take, wash them down with Red Bull and Vodka shots. That chick looks like she could do with one dropped in her drink etc. etc.
There's always going to be munters like this. Back in 1997, the singer of crap boyband East 17 boasted of taking 12 in one night.
But I assume it'd be relatively easy to manufacture anti-mickey finn tablets that can't be slipped into drinks easily. Make them big, make them slow to dissolve in anything except a stomach, add an outer shell or quickly dissolving integral component that turns your drink a foul colour, etc.
consciously targeted at immigrant Chinese workers, whose opium use had become a matter of public alarm.
And that, Sir, is the key, FEAR.
The fear of the majority of society, the fear of foreigners, the fear of youth and their immature and ignorant ways.
If society had unbiased and informed knowledge of drugs and anything else for that matter, then this fear would disappear and be replaced by an enlightened concern but it suits those in power to keep the people scared and nothing beats the fear of the unknown. Keep 'em ignorant of the facts and you have control.
Tail-ender reporting here . I had a poke around online re this incident & the smokin gun could well be the humidity level on the night - as one of the 100 or so DEA agents observed, it was so muggy condensation was running down the walls - even in a really hot space .This is a very bad combo - high ambient temp,100%humidity & over exertion + E`s mild hyprethermic effect on top .These type of hyperthermia events are rare but not unheard of in long distance running events ; so in both cases [running /dancing] there is a behavioural /cognitive issue whereby people simply don`t know when to stop. Not rocket science .
James, studies on ranking drug harms allow for prevalence. Harmfulness is not just one value but a consideration of a range of factors eg risk of mortality, short-term long term damage to person, risk of dependence, risk to society (criminogenicity, road smashes..). With illicit drugs , many of these factors are aggravated by prohibitionist policies. Alcohol tends to beat most other drugs for harm when you sum all the factors, People mistakenly tend to take its legality as a signal of its safety when compared with "real drugs". Hence we can have a Prime Minister, often seen with a glass or bottle in his hand, claiming he doesn't agree with drugs, as if that is a useful policy statement.
In the US, the story is even starker. Drug laws there were essentially born out of racism – against immigrant Chinese, blacks and Mexicans – and their impact still falls sharply along racial lines.
Indeed, the War on Drugs has become a “new Jim Crow” of sorts. Especially when the arrest and sentencing stats are broken down by ethnicity and class.
Whereas *everyone* in America drank, and Prohibition proved to be an unenforceable nightmare. In any case, it's glaringly hypocritical for people to shout down booze and tobacco regulations as 'nanny statism', while also shouting just as loudly for weed to stay illegal.
Tatjna re-reads the NZ Expert Advisory Committee on Drugs' advice to the Minister of Health on MDMA.
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.