About Me

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Australian philosopher, literary critic, legal scholar, and professional writer. Based in Newcastle, NSW. My latest books are THE TYRANNY OF OPINION: CONFORMITY AND THE FUTURE OF LIBERALISM (2019); AT THE DAWN OF A GREAT TRANSITION: THE QUESTION OF RADICAL ENHANCEMENT (2021); and HOW WE BECAME POST-LIBERAL: THE RISE AND FALL OF TOLERATION (2024).

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Risks of ecstasy exaggerated

New research suggests that the effects of the drug ecstasy, or MDMA, are exaggerated - indeed, the real dangers of the drug in its pure form seem to be quite minimal.

As so often with paternalistic legislation, you have to ask whether harsh laws have actually increased the inherent dangers.

H/T James Bradley.


Anonymous said...

As a former heavy user of ecstasy (and other drugs) I can definitely say that the illegality of these substances is a massive risk, both in never knowing exactly what you are getting and in the type of people you end up associating with. Even though I have now stopped taking drugs for many years now, I definitely am in favor of making most drugs legal but heavily regulated

godsbelow said...

If people are ever to be permitted by government to do what they wish with their bodies, fighting negative and misleading propaganda about certain kinds of drugs is certainly one good way to start.

Unfortunately, negative views about drugs are held on faith by most politicians and most electors (here in Australia, at least), and, as we know, faith positions are all too often immune to reasoned criticism.

Perhaps a better tactic would be to remind our politicians of the revenue that taxing and regulating a legalised ecstasy industry could bring.

pboyfloyd said...

I think this comes down to the meaning of justice.

Theists, no doubt, argue that since God made the universe and the rules, justice is what HE says it is.

God's little helpers are just emulating HIM.

This is justice as order.

The liberal approach, which theists pretend to, is that justice is fairness.

It's so easy to twist the fairness notion back to the authoritative version, all one needs to do is say, "I'm in charge, it's only fair that you do what I say!"

This is how we get laws making drugs illegal because, well, it's chaos people, and we just can't have chaos now, can we?

There's nothing fair about drugs being illegal. They're illegal because someone decided that they're illegal and that is that.

Anonymous said...

During the days of prohibition, there was a large batch of highly toxic alcohol that had entered the underground supply. J Edgar Hoover knew about it, and actually could have seized most of it, but did not on the theory that the results would scare people sober.

Never trust your government when there is ideology at stake.