August 6, 20
Signs Harsh New Ecstasy Law
Today, Illinois Governor George
H. Ryan signed into law one of the nation’s harshest laws concerning
possession of the popular drug Ecstasy (MDMA).
Under the new law, a
convicted of possessing just 15 doses of Ecstasy in Illinois will
mandatory minimum sentence of 4 years in prison, up to a
maximum of 15 years.
law also sets new mandatory minimum sentences for those convicted of
possessing small amounts of Ecstasy for sale. Possession of 15 doses of
Ecstasy with intent to distribute will result in a mandatory minimum
sentence of 6 years in prison, up to a maximum of 30 years.
new law is grossly unjust,” said Richard Glen Boire, an attorney who
specializes in the law and policy of consciousness altering drugs, and
who earlier this year testified about Ecstasy before the US Sentencing
Commission in Washington D.C.
new Illinois law is pure and simple ‘thought policing.’ It is
unconscionable to send a person to state prison for 4 years, for
choosing to experience the effects of this drug while causing no harm to
anyone else,” said attorney Boire.
1980 Illinois has increased its spending on education by only 47
percent, while skyrocketing the State’s expenditures on prison
construction by 214 percent. Illinois currently has the fifth largest
percentage of drug offenders behind bars.
to Boire, “it’s ironic that the mandatory minimum sentence under
Illinois’ new Ecstasy law is 4 years -- the same amount of time needed
to obtain a college education.”
that Ecstasy is popular with otherwise law-abiding college students,”
Boire continued, “Governor Ryan’s new law –with its mandatory
minimum sentence—will result in some young people being forced out of
college classrooms and into prison cells. What possible good does that
part of a growing number of Americans who believe that the War on Drugs
is causing more harm than good. While many in this new Anti-War movement
focus on the systemic problems caused by the War on Drugs (prison
over-crowding, police corruption, property forfeiture, and increased
death and disease to users who have no choice but to buy drugs in an
unregulated “black market”), Boire’s Center
for Cognitive Liberty & Ethics (www.cognitiveliberty.org)
sees the War on Drugs as violating a more fundamental right – the
right of each person to have autonomy over his or her own mind
(including the right to use psychoactive drugs) so long as they do not
engage in behavior that causes harm to others.
the right to control your own consciousness,” asks Boire, “what
MDMA (Ecstasy) is listed as a controlled substance in Section
subparagraph (d)(2) of the Illinois Controlled Substances Act.
Federal Ecstasy Prevention Act of
introduced on July 19, 2001 >>
more information, contact:
Richard Glen Boire, J.D.
Center for Cognitive Liberty & Ethics
Telephone & Fax: 1-530-750-7912
Web site: http://www.cognitiveliberty.org/
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receive periodic cognitive liberty alerts, updates, and announcements,
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: http://www.cognitiveliberty.org