FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 28, 2000
Report Finds Federal
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 governments just say
no national drug policy.
Among other conclusions, the report finds
> 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 Acts 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
or via FAX or postal mail from the Center for Cognitive Liberty & Ethics.
the Center for Cognitive Liberty & Ethics
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 ones own mental processes and to experience
the full spectrum of possible thought.
Telephone: 1-888-950-MIND (6463)