September 7, 2000
Whats (Still) Wrong with
Methamphetamine and Club
Drug Anti-Proliferation Act of 2000?
On July 25,
2000, the House Judiciary Committee appended the Club Drug Anti-Proliferation Act to the
Methamphetamine Anti-Proliferation Act and passed the combined bill, which is now called
the "Methamphetamine and Club Drug Anti-Proliferation Act of 2000" (H.R. 2987).
A full vote by the House is expected this month, perhaps as early as next week.
several provisions that would have infringed on free speech were struck from the original
Methamphetamine bill, the addition of the Club Drug provisions raises new problems that
are summarized below:
Ordering the Sentencing Commission to equate (MDMA) Ecstasy with methamphetamine blurs the
lines between two very different drugs and sends a dangerous message to Americas
youth. The two drugs are very different in potency, addictive potential, and
other pharmacological characteristics. Equating Ecstasy and methamphetamine for any
purpose threatens to increase overdoses, addiction, and other individual and societal
Ordering the Sentencing Commission to equate Ecstasy with methamphetamine provides dealers
with an incentive to falsely market methamphetamine as Ecstasy. By
arbitrarily equating methamphetamine with Ecstasy, based solely on weight, the Club Drug
provisions overlook the fact that, according to the Sentencing Commission, one gram of
methamphetamine provides approximately 200 doses. Yet, one gram of Ecstasy provides only
about 8 doses. Thus, under the Club Drug provisions, a dealer who seeks to increase
profits relative to potential punishment has an incentive to sell methamphetamine as
Ecstasy. Such a flawed law will dramatically increase the harms to individuals and
society by displacing Ecstasy with methamphetamine and promoting overdoses and addiction
among people who unwittingly receive and ingest methamphetamine believing it to be
Ordering the Sentencing Commission to equate Ecstasy with methamphetamine usurps the
Sentencing Commissions autonomy and violates the principle of separation of powers.
The Sentencing Commission is an independent agency in the judicial branch of the
government, vested with prescribing the appropriate form and severity of punishment for
offenders of federal crimes. Congress should let the Commission do what it was designed to
do, rather than order it to implement specific sentencing provisions.
The Club Drug provisions summarily make findings of fact that ignore the earlier findings
and recommendations of DEA Administrative Law Judge Francis Young who concluded
that MDMA has a safe and accepted medical use. Judge Young ruled that MDMA should be
available for doctors to prescribe and use in therapy.
Inquires concerning the above points may be directed to Richard Glen Boire, J.D., an
attorney at the Center for Cognitive Liberty & Ethics. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; telephone:
information, including the latest update about the bills mentioned above is available at: http://www.cognitiveliberty.org/ecstasybill.htm
About the Center for Cognitive Liberty & Ethics
the Center for Cognitive Liberty & Ethics
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 ones own mental processes and to experience
the full spectrum of possible thought. Web site: http://www.cognitiveliberty.org
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