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 Ecstasy and Amphetamines - Global Survey 2003
United Nations Drug Report “Disappointing” Say Critics

Yesterday (September 23, 2003) the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime released its report Ecstasy and Amphetamines - Global Survey 2003. The report estimates that worldwide 7.7 million people used the drug ecstasy from 2000-2001.

This figure is approximately one-half the number of people who used cocaine during that time period, and approximately one-fourth fewer people than used heroin during that same time period. 

According to the report, ecstasy users risk “suffering the effects of early decline in mental function and memory, or Alzheimer-type symptoms.”

The report was released just weeks after scientists at Johns Hopkins University retracted their research findings that suggested that a single evening's use of ecstasy could cause permanent brain damage and Parkinson's disease. The scientists admitted that they utilized the wrong drug in their studies.

The UN report makes no mention of the retracted studies.

According to Richard Glen Boire, legal counsel for the Center for Cognitive Liberty and Ethics, a US-based law and policy group focused on protecting of freedom of thought, the UN report is also disappointing for its adoption of US government rhetoric.

“It’s inaccurate to equate any and all use of ecstasy with abuse,” said attorney Boire. “During Alcohol Prohibition did evening wine drinkers all become abusers?” he asked, continuing,  “prohibition is a political label, not a magic wand that transforms all use into abuse.”

According to the Center for Cognitive Liberty & Ethics, equating drug use with drug abuse not only leads to bad social policies, it infringes on the fundamental right of adults to mediate their own mental processes.

“It used to be that governments banned books because of how they changed the way that people thought,” says Boire. “Today it’s drugs – both legal and illegal – that are changing the way that people think. Just as it was wrong for the government to censor books, it’s equally wrong for the government to censor cognition itself by making peaceful people criminals just for taking a drug like ecstasy.”

For more information:
Richard Glen Boire, J.D.
Center for Cognitive Liberty & Ethic (ccle)
231 G. Street, No. 7
Davis, CA 95616
Ph & fax: 530-750-7912

The Center for Cognitive Liberty & Ethics (CCLE) is a nonprofit law and policy institute working to advance sustainable social policies that protect freedom of thought.  We work to promote public awareness and legal recognition of cognitive liberty -- the right of each individual to think independently, to have decision-making authority over matters affecting his or her mind, and to engage in the full spectrum of possible thought.  Read our full Mission Statement

See Also

CCLE Entheogen and Drug Policy Project




Read the UN Report online