Jumping to Conclusions

CBC News – British Columbia – Whistler ecstasy death highlights risk: RCMP

Whistler RCMP are warning the public about the dangers of ecstasy after one young man died and another was hospitalized after taking the drug last week.

Kevin Van Huyse, 20, was found unconscious in a Whistler home Thursday morning after taking the illegal street drug in a powdered form. He was rushed to hospital but died a short time later.

The official cause of death has yet to be released, but Whistler RCMP said another young man in the home also overdosed on the drug. He is expected to recover.

So Whistler RCMP are warning the public about the dangers of ecstasy but the cause of death of this young man is unknown. And they say another person “overdosed” on the drug. Yet MDMA (ecstasy) doesn’t kill you and is very hard to overdose on as that term is commonly known (ie, take too much and die). MDMA is actually an incredibly safe drug, as unintentionally highlighted by the rest of the story, which goes on to say that lots and lots of people in Whistler take lots and lots of MDMA all the time. In other words, this tragic death is the exception that proves the rule. The rule being that MDMA is pretty safe.

I also suggest that when the cause of death is known (ie, when the RCMP are doing more that just guessing) we will learn, assuming the story gets covered, that something other than MDMA killed Mr. Van Huyse. Possibly an adulterant in what he thought was MDMA as it is regularly cut with other substances including amphetamines. This is, of course, a known risk of black market products and one that would not exist except that MDMA resides in our list of illegal drugs instead of our list of legal drugs. And if that bears out, you can lay this death, as we can so many before, at the hands of prohibitionists.