Pubdate: Tue, 10 Jul 2001
Source: Toronto Star (CN ON)
Copyright: 2001 The Toronto Star
Author: Glenn Curry, Toronto
Bookmark: (Raves)
Bookmark: (Ecstasy)


Re Boy, 16, dies after swallowing pills at downtown rave, July 9.

I read with great sadness and anger about the death of one so young 
at Digital Night Club over the weekend. As always, it was an 
avoidable death. Yet as your report reads, the boy swallowed 
"several" pills.

As a partier myself, I must wonder at his decision to take more than 
one pill at a time. One of the most important and oft-repeated pieces 
of advice available regarding the use of party drugs is "less is 
more." Taken moderately and responsibly, ecstasy provides a high that 
is very easy to handle and presents zero risk. Taken excessively, 
results can become fatal.

So how do we make sure people don't die at raves and nightclubs? One 
solution has been to make criminal penalties harsher. Is this really 
realistic, though? Given the sentences that people can now receive 
for drug use and trafficking, the use of the drugs and the highs they 
provide just are not worth doing that sort of time. Yet people 
persist and I think people would be blown away if they could know 
just how much ecstasy was consumed by Canadians over the past weekend.

Who's not being realistic here? Law officials and legislators are 
going to try and blame the promoters, the clubs, the drugs and the 
whole electronic music scene. But we all know who is responsible for 
this boy's death. It was his decision to ingest the quantity of pills 
he did that then overwhelmed his system. The fact of the electronic 
music scene is secondary to his own personal and unfortunate decision.

People are going to use drugs regardless of what the law says. 
History has shown us this. It is time for governments and legislators 
to take a more sane and realistic look at drug use and the laws that 
govern drug use. As long as alcohol and cigarettes, two vile scourges 
of public health, are readily available to all, all other drug laws 
are hypocrisy and the law is rendered weak. It is inconsistent and, 
as such, it is ignored. People can use ecstasy and live. The fact 
that you are reading this is proof of that.

Glenn Curry, Toronto
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