For those of you who don't know, Ecstasy is a drug most commonly taken as a pill, which gives users an extreme sense of euphoria, an accentuation of the senses, a feeling of togetherness and generally makes the user incredibly happy. It is a Class A drug, along with Heroin, Cocaine etc.
In the 1970s and early 80s, Ecstasy (MDMA) was legal across the USA. It had been developed as a drug to help people with post traumatic stress disorder revisit their trauma in a more positive light. At the time just before ecstasy was made illegal, it was hugely popular with young dancers, especially in the Dallas area. At the time you could buy the pill and be sure that it was 100% ecstasy.
Then, the US government got involved. They saw that this was a drug which was used by millions of Americans. "Of course", they said, "all drugs are bad". The Reagan administration launched a 'Just Say No' campaign. This was based on the idea that you should live your life as 'God' wanted you to. A government sponsored scientific study came up with the conclusion that one dose of the drug could cause permanent brain damage and parkinson's disease.
In the period following the ban, Ecstasy became less popular in the USA due to lack of availability. It was in Europe that it took off. However, the Ecstasy in Europe was criminalised. With criminal gangs in control, they were keen to make as much profit as possible. So Ecstasy pills became diluted, depurified and therefore more volatile. In the UK, Ecstasy became a huge part of an underground rave scene and usage continued to increase. At the same time, the New Scientist, an independent British journal, published a study into the effects of Ecstasy contradicting the American government-sponsored science. Old, middle aged ex-users agreed with this, with there being apparently no effect on them or their friends no matter how many times they used the drug.
So, we have a drug which is unlike any other. The effects of the drug are wholly positive - unlike with alcohol or weed or anything else there is no chance of a user regretting their experience. I'd say 99% of people who've taken Ecstasy will say it was one of the best feelings of their life. Unlike Heroin and Cocaine, Ecstasy is not physically addictive. Unlike alcohol, it's effects do not encourage anti-social behaviour; in fact they are quite the opposite. There is no conclusive scientific evidence suggesting that Ecstasy has any serious long-term affect on the brain, particularly compared to any ordinary prescription drug. The criminalisation of Ecstasy 1) increases the likelihood of a pill containing other dangerous substances, and 2) is repressive without reason.
Why is it not legal?