A lecturer from the University of Salford has co-authored a report calling for the regulation of MDMA.

The report MDMA: Roadmaps to Regulation, published by the Beckley Foundation, outlines a proposal of government-licensed pharmacies that will sell the drug as well as offering harm reduction information.

Dr Karenza Moore, a lecturer in criminology at the University of Salford, co-authored the report and claims that current drug laws “are not based on the evidence in terms of risks, harms and benefits”

A widely held concern about regulating and decriminalising drugs is that it would lead to a rise in underage drug use.

Dr Moore argues: “Young people are not protected by it being banned, it would be better to have some kind of framework around its use that could control it.”

The report has a testimonial from Anne-Marie Cockburn whose 15-year-old daughter Martha died after taking half a gram of powder that turned out to be 91% pure MDMA and would be enough for five to ten people.

In the report she says: “No drug is made safer by leaving it unregulated on the black market.

“Had Martha taken something that was licensed, labelled with a list of ingredients and recommended dosage, she’d still be alive today.”

The report also calls for a rescheduling of MDMA from a Schedule 1 to a Schedule 2 which will “reduce the political, bureaucratic, and cost barriers to scientific research” and allow for more research into the drug’s possible therapeutic uses.

Before it was prohibited the drug was used by psychotherapists to help treat post-traumatic stress disorder and research is underway to see whether it can be used to help treat social anxiety.

They also say that criminal penalties should be removed for the possession of any drug so as “to reap the full benefits that could be derived from decriminalisation and to help tackle the disproportionality and racial bias of drug policing”.

Dr Moore says that the idea of MDMA, or any drug, acting as a gateway to harder drugs is “quite problematic.”

She claims: “People look for reasons for how people end up with problematic drug use because they’ve got to start somewhere.”

“Most people don’t end up having a problem with drugs.”

MDMA, or ecstasy, is the third most popular drug in the UK behind cannabis and cocaine, often used as a party drug or in social situations.

The number of deaths caused by MDMA have risen in recent years with 92 fatalities across the UK in 2018.



You can read the full report here.

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