What’s (Still) Wrong with the Methamphetamine and Club Drug Anti-Proliferation Act of 2000?
On July 25, 2000, the House Judiciary Committee appended the Club Drug Anti-Proliferation Act to the Methamphetamine Anti-Proliferation Act and passed the combined bill, which is now called the Methamphetamine and Club Drug Anti-Proliferation Act of 2000″ (H.R. 2987). A full vote by the House is expected this month, perhaps as early as next week.
While several provisions that would have infringed on free speech were struck from the original Methamphetamine bill, the addition of the Club Drug provisions raises new problems that are summarized below:
1. Ordering the Sentencing Commission to equate (MDMA) Ecstasy with methamphetamine blurs the lines between two very different drugs and sends a dangerous message to America’s youth. The two drugs are very different in potency, addictive potential, and other pharmacological characteristics. Equating Ecstasy and methamphetamine for any purpose threatens to increase overdoses, addiction, and other individual and societal harms.
2. Ordering the Sentencing Commission to equate Ecstasy with methamphetamine provides dealers with an incentive to falsely market methamphetamine as Ecstasy. By arbitrarily equating methamphetamine with Ecstasy, based solely on weight, the Club Drug provisions overlook the fact that, according to the Sentencing Commission, one gram of methamphetamine provides approximately 200 doses. Yet, one gram of Ecstasy provides only about 8 doses. Thus, under the Club Drug provisions, a dealer who seeks to increase profits relative to potential punishment has an incentive to sell methamphetamine *as Ecstasy.* Such a flawed law will dramatically increase the harms to individuals and society by displacing Ecstasy with methamphetamine and promoting overdoses and addiction among people who unwittingly receive and ingest methamphetamine believing it to be Ecstasy.
3. Ordering the Sentencing Commission to equate Ecstasy with methamphetamine usurps the Sentencing Commission’s autonomy and violates the principle of separation of powers. The Sentencing Commission is an independent agency in the judicial branch of the government, vested with prescribing the appropriate form and severity of punishment for offenders of federal crimes. Congress should let the Commission do what it was designed to do, rather than order it to implement specific sentencing provisions.
4. The Club Drug provisions summarily make findings of fact that ignore the earlier findings and recommendations of DEA Administrative Law Judge Francis Young who concluded that MDMA has a safe and accepted medical use. Judge Young ruled that MDMA should be available for doctors to prescribe and use in therapy.
For more information on the Methamphetamine and Club Drug
Anti-Proliferation Act, go to: www.cannabisculture.com/infoban
Contact Information: Inquires concerning the above points may be directed to Richard Glen Boire, J.D., an attorney at the Center for Cognitive Liberty & Ethics. E-mail: [email protected]; telephone: 1-530-750-7912.
Additional information about the bills mentioned above is available at: www.cognitiveliberty.org/ecstasybill.htm
This news release is available on the Internet at: www.cognitiveliberty.org/newsrelease/sept72000.htm
About the Center for Cognitive Liberty & Ethics The Center for Cognitive Liberty & Ethics is a nonpartisan, nonprofit, law and policy center working in the public interest to protect fundamental civil liberties. The Center seeks to foster cognitive liberty – the basic human right to unrestrained independent thinking, including the right to control one’s own mental processes and to experience the full spectrum of possible thought. Web site: www.cognitiveliberty.org
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