is the familiar street name of an illicit drug known as 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA). The drugs other street namesare “Molly” “X” or “E.” Anton Kollisch, who worked as achemist at a pharmaceutical company, discovered the drug in 1912.Initially, chemical researchers were not interested in the drug theyonly used it to synthesize the methyl hydrastinine drug to treatuterine bleeding (Mclaren, & Lautiery, n.d).
Duringthe 1950’s and 70’s, the drug was tested for toxicity in animalsat the University of Michigan and the US Army. Alexander Shulginwhile working at the Dow Chemical Company invented the drugspsychoactive nature. In the year 1979, he published the first reporton the subjective effects of the drug on human beings. In the report,Alexander compared the drug’s effects to those caused by marijuanaand magic mushrooms. Consequently, Alexander Shulgin became known asthe “godfather of ecstasy” after inventing the disinhibitingimplications of the drug. Other scientists who became interested inthe drug found out its ability to aid mental patients in overcomingtheir fears and raised their focus to concur emotions. During thattime, the drug was not subjected to further clinical trials and wasunsanctioned by the Food Drug and Administration (FDA). Later, thedrug was introduced into psychotherapy and people began using it forrecreational purposes. The name “” emanated from theability to create unique feelings similar to those of hallucinogenicand stimulant drugs on the users (Mclaren, & Lautiery, n.d).
Thepopularity of the drug is due to its ability to create feelings ofempathy, euphoria, mild hallucinations and enhanced energy. It isalso referred to as the party drug similar to Ketamine and GHB. Thedrug is also associated with party raves in nightclubs. Similar toother stimulation drugs, ecstasy is associated with dangerous sideeffects. Some of the common side effects include muscle cramping,nausea, sweating, chills, shaking and tremors, hallucinations,blurred vision, increased blood pressure and tension in the mouth(Harsh New Federal Penalties for Take Effect, n.d).
Afterthe drug had been patented in the year 1914, the United States ofAmerica outlawed the use of in the year 1985. In the year1988, the drug was further classified as a schedule I drug. In theyear 1960, the United States of America Congress enacted theHarrisons Narcotic Act to reduce the distribution of Heroin andCocaine to the public. Other drug laws passed include, theComprehensive Drug Abuse and Prevention Control Act in the year 1970.The Act entails Title II laws, which further classifies drugs intofive schedules. Schedule I drugs are those without any recognizedmedical use and are associated with severe criminal cases due totheir high potential to be used. Such drugs are termed as unsafe evenunder medical supervision. The other classification of schedule twothrough to five entails drugs with acceptable uses due to theirdiminishing rates for potential abuse and association with rarecriminal cases (Schwartzbach, n.d).
Inthe year 2001, the sentencing commission of the United Statesadjusted the federal sentencing guidelines. The adjustment providedharsher sentences for offenses involved with . For instance,the amendments increased the average punishment for trafficking thedrug from 35 to 74 months of incarceration. Consequently, the penaltyfor trafficking drug is harsher than that associated withpowder cocaine. The association with less than half a pound of thedrug warrants a minimum of six-year incarceration, while 2000 gramsmay warrant a ten-year service in prison (Harsh New Federal Penaltiesfor Take Effect, n.d).
Inthe year 2005 the case of United States v. Booker, the court decidedthat the sentencing guidelines for crimes related to the drug are notmandatory but rather advisory. Consequently, in the year 2011, a highcourt in New York was right after he decided to reject the providedsentencing guidelines for the -related offenses. Specifically,the judge opined that he felt the guideline was extremely harsh aboutwhat is known about the drug. Although the sentencing guidelinerequired an incarceration period of 64 to 78 months for convicts ofconspiracy related to possession or the distribution of , thejudge sentenced the convict to 27 months. Further, the New York judgeexpounded that the United States Sentencing Commission depended onunproven scientific proof while setting the range of punishment forpeople convicted of -related crimes (Mclaren, & Lautiery,n.d).
Similarly,the Federation of American Scientists made a bristling comment on theincrease in punishment for -related crimes. The Scientistsexpounded that there lack strong policy related and pharmacologicalevidence supporting the heightened castigations. The director of thenational institute on drug abuse, Dr. Charles Schuster is among thegreat leading neuroscientists who signed the statement made by theFederation of American Scientists. A majority of the scientistsobserved that the stern sentence is bound to initiate the productionof more counterfeit drugs sold as . Producers and sellers ofthe drugs are more likely to increase the production ofcounterfeit drugs to meet the demand. Further, the scientists alsoobserved that the fundamental problem associated with the drug notonly stems from the drug only but is intertwined to the effect of thecounterfeit drugs that are more likely to be sold to unsuspectingbuyers. For instance, the scientists advised that the DXM drug ismostly marketed as a counterfeit for the drug (Schwartzbach,n.d).
DXMinhibits sweating, and its use in the mostly dehydrating activity ofdancing can cause heatstroke. They also observed that the PMA drug isa close counterfeit drug for . The drug has been the key causeof deaths on young people. Increased penalties will lead to sendingadditional non-violent and young Americans to prison for a longertime. (Harsh New Federal Penalties for Take Effect, n.d)
However,despite the observation of extreme harshness of the law with thedrug, the initial sentencing provisions for ecstasy-crime relatedconvicts have remained in effect. Although judges are armed with thepreference to offer less harsh sentences, they continue to rule sternpunishments in cases involving the drug. For instance, in the year2013, a high court judge in the southern district of Texas punished aconvict for the distribution of to 192 months incarceration.The criminal was punished for the conspiracy to possess anddistribute the drug. Such heavy sentences are used to echo thegovernment`s stand that -related crimes are not to be takenlightly (Schwartzbach, n.d).
Concerningstate’s regulation of the drug, all the United States of Americaheavily criminalizes the sale, manufacture and use of the drug.Similar to the federal laws, the states use the Federals sentencingguidelines to classify drug-related crimes. Drug-related crimes arecategorized based on their addictive qualities and the potential fortheir acceptable use. Most states, in developing their drug-relatedguidelines, adopt the already laid out guidelines by the federal law.Although there are several states that create their drug-relatedguidelines, all states in general place -related crimes in thehighest category as stipulated in Schedule 1 of the federal law(Harsh New Federal Penalties for Take Effect, n.d).
HarshNew Federal Penalties for Take Effect. (n.d). Weare the drug policy alliance.Retrieved on 18 June, 2016, fromhttp://www.drugpolicy.org/news/2001/04/harsh-new-federal-penalties-ecstasy-take-effect
Mclaren,E. & Lautiery, A. (n.d).history and statistics. DrugsAbuse. Retrievedon 18 June, 2016, fromhttp://drugabuse.com/library/ecstasy-history-and-statistics/
Schwartzbach,M. (n.d). Laws. Criminaldefense lawyer.Retrieved on 18 June, 2016, fromhttp://www.criminaldefenselawyer.com/drug-possession-and-use/-mdma-pills-laws.htm