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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                  June 28, 2000

 Report Finds Federal Anti-Ecstasy Bill
Endangers Adolescents and Violates Free Speech

CALIFORNIA – A report issued on June 28, 2000, by the Center for Cognitive Liberty & Ethics, finds that provisions in the Ecstasy Anti-Proliferation Act of 2000 (S.2612) will endanger adolescents and others who use MDMA (Ecstasy), and will violate the free speech rights of a broad range of writers, scholars, reporters, and activists, whose work departs from the government’s “just say no” national drug policy.    

Among other conclusions, the report finds that:

> While the Act purports to punish Ecstasy offenses the same as methamphetamine offenses, flaws in the Act's design actually punish Ecstasy offender's much more harshly than methamphetamine offenders -- setting forth the same punishment for selling 20 doses of Ecstasy as for selling 500 doses of methamphetamine. This skewed punishment structure will encourage dealers to fraudulently sell methamphetamine as Ecstasy, thereby endangering adolescents and others who will believe they are purchasing Ecstasy, when they will actually be receiving the much more potent and dangerous drug, methamphetamine.

> Section 6 of the Act, which seeks to criminalize certain information about Ecstasy and other controlled substances, violates the First Amendment, and endangers adolescents and others who will find it increasingly difficult to obtain reliable information on how to reduce the harms associated with using Ecstasy. The Act's information ban will also impact parents, doctors, scholars, reporters, harm reduction advocates, Web site operators, and other citizens whose speech will be chilled for fear of saying or writing the wrong thing and facing ten years in prison.

> In light of the heated nature of the public debate over drug use and drug policy, the Act’s overbroad and vague ban on certain information concerning Ecstasy and other controlled substances, invites bad faith arrests by law enforcement agents – arrests aimed not at securing valid convictions, but rather at chilling expression and deterring efforts by citizens and organizations advocating for changes in national drug policy.

> The Act would attribute unsubstantiated factual findings to Congress concerning Ecstasy. The report by the Center for Cognitive Liberty & Ethics suggests that rather than summarily adopt such findings, Congress should hold a full evidentiary hearing on Ecstasy's risk profile, addiction potential, and therapeutic use potential.

The complete report is available online as an Adobe Acrobat file at: or via FAX or postal mail from the Center for Cognitive Liberty & Ethics.


 About the Center for Cognitive Liberty & Ethics

The Center for Cognitive Liberty and 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.


Contact Information:

Telephone: 1-888-950-MIND (6463)

Fax: 530-686-8265


Click Here for more information on the Ecstasy Anti-Proliferation Act.