John Key unconvinced by emergency doctor's call to legalise MDMA

Stuff 18 June 2015
Prime Minister John Key is unconvinced by a doctor’s claim that the pure form of ecstasy is safer than alcohol and should be legalised.
Emergency medical specialist and clinical toxicologist Paul Quigley told Fairfax Media there was mounting evidence that MDMA was one of the safest intoxicants around, especially when compared with alcohol. Liquor-related injuries and illnesses made up about two-thirds of late-night and weekend admissions at Wellington Hospital’s accident and emergency department, he said.
Although Key said he had not seen any official advice on the safety of ecstasy, and was unfamiliar with Quigley’s reasoning, he thought it unlikely his Government would legalise it. “Anything I’ve seen in relation to this drug has been deeply negative, so I can’t see why it would be.”
He believed the societal harm from such a move would be “very, very significant”. Such legalisation would be a very different step from harnessing the non-psychotic medicinal properties of cannabis for patients such as Alex Renton, whose mother’s quest to treat her son’s prolonged seizures with cannabinoid oil hit headlines this month.
But Quigley’s controversial call has been backed by the New Zealand Drug Foundation, and Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne said that, although the idea was a “long shot”, he would discuss its merits with Quigley, the head of Wellington Hospital’s emergency department.
Legalising and regulating the sale and manufacture of MDMA – or 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine – could put a dent in the black market for other more harmful drugs flooding the market, Quigley said.
Resource: The Truth About Ecstasy

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