LETTER:Problems of legal Ecstasy

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The Independent Online
From Mr Charles de Lacy

Sir: You propose (leading article; "The agony of Ecstasy", 14 November) that Ecstasy should be brought within the law but you give no consideration to the complex problems this would create.

For example, all legitimate drugs have to have a proven track record in terms of their safety before they are licensed. To bring Ecstasy within the law, would you imagine it being submitted to all the rigorous tests of any other pharmaceutical drug?

Or is your proposal that any illegally used substances that are widely used will be deemed to be safe and legitimate for recreational purposes, but not medical purposes?

If the latter route were taken, it would have a detrimental knock-on effect on the overall safety of medicines. It would lead to a culture and an outlook that no longer had the rigorous standards we expect from our pharmaceutical industry.

If we are to follow your proposal of legalisation on abused drugs, this must be within the current parameters of testing and licensing. This would mean some recreational drugs never being licensed, because they are dangerous. Others could be licensed but only available on prescription.

I suggest that this scenario is impracticable, and we should accept that there will always be an illegal drugs industry, albeit decriminalised, and with the consequential result that from time to time people will die.

Yours faithfully,

Charles de Lacy



15 November