Critique of Combined Meth and Club Drug Bill, by the Center for Cognitive Liberty and Ethics 9/22/00

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In a September 7th press release, the Center for Cognitive Liberty and Ethics, a California-based nonprofit organization devoted to fostering cognitive liberty "including the right to control one's own mental processes," applauded the removal of anti-free speech language from the bill, but attacked its provisions equating methamphetamine and the so-called club drugs.

The combined bill, known as the Methamphetamine and Club Drug Anti-Proliferation Act of 2000 (HR 2987) will be voted on by the House this month and is expected to pass easily.  Once the bill has passed the House, the House and Senate will appoint members to a conference committee to hammer out differences with the Senate version (S. 486).  The Senate version, passed unanimously earlier this year, retains the anti-free speech language, but does not include the club drug provisions.

The Center for Cognitive Liberty and Ethics release attacks the House version of the bill for equating methamphetamines with ecstasy.

The Center argues that ordering the Sentencing Commission to equate ecstasy and meth blurs the line between two very different drugs and "threatens to increase overdoses, addiction, and other individual and societal harms."

The Center's press release also argues that equating the two drugs provides unscrupulous dealers with the incentive to falsely market meth as ecstasy.  Because the weight-based sentencing guidelines overlook the fact that one gram of meth produces roughly 200 doses while one gram of ecstasy produces about eight doses, "a dealer who seeks to increase profits relative to potential punishment has an incentive to sell methamphetamine as ecstasy."

This result, says the Center, will be "promoting overdoses and addiction among people who unwittingly receive and ingest methamphetamine believing it to be ecstasy."

Further, the Center charges, the club drug provisions ignore earlier findings by DEA administrative law judges that ecstasy "has safe and effective medical uses."

The complete text of the Center's press release, as well as additional information on the ecstasy bills is available at:

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Issue #152, 9/22/00 A Tale of Two Drug Cultures: British Columbia Marijuana Industry Thrives While Hard Drug Harm Reduction Faces Crisis | HEA Update: Updated, Campus Press Outreach Begins, Your Help Needed | Follow That Story: Bush Accedes to Police Chiefs' Call for National Commission on Criminal Justice, Gore Waffles | New Hemispheric Parliamentary Group Urged to Put Drug Legalization on Its Agenda | Islands in the Sun: Jamaica and New Zealand to Study Cannabis Reforms, Guam Court Okays Sacramental Smoking | Texas Journey for Justice Beginning Today (9/22) | Congress Again Bars Needle Exchange Funding for DC, Restricts Existing Program | Critique of Combined Meth and Club Drug Bill, by the Center for Cognitive Liberty and Ethics | Event Calendar | Editorial: Schism of Silence
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