Pubdate: Tue, 04 Dec 2001
Source: Toronto Star (CN ON)
Copyright: 2001 The Toronto Star
Author: Glenn Curry


Re Ecstasy suspected in cyber-cafe death, Dec. 3.

Despite deputy chief coroner Dr. Barry McLellan's statement that toxicity 
reports will take months to be completed, the police and officials are 
claiming that Nicole Malik's unfortunate death is a result of the effects 
of ecstasy (MDMA). This amounts to fear- mongering on the part of 
legislators with special interests.

It baffles me that all the so-called ecstasy-related deaths have as 
statistics young users, the 17-to-25 set. Why is this happening? Why aren't 
35-year-olds dying from the use of ecstasy? I am 33 and have over the past 
few years, in the course of any given night out, used anywhere from one to 
three hits of ecstasy and I'm still alive. A broader view of my social 
group sees club goers from the ages of 25 to 55 using ecstasy on a regular 
basis and they are all still alive. They are doctors, lawyers, teachers, 
engineers, information technologists, librarians, insurance brokers and 
real estate agents. All contributing members of society with respectable 
professions that suggest a high level of education.

What was that? Education? Yes, and there's the key to survival in any given 
situation; education. However, our present legislators and police chiefs 
have generated a climate that does not encourage youth to educate 
themselves regarding drug use.

Instead of giving unbiased and clear information to our youth regarding 
drugs and putting the tools in their hands, we criminalize drugs, deterring 
youth from finding out the truth and understanding the responsibilities 
that attend their actions. Parents, who've never taken these drugs and who 
largely don't know the first thing about club culture, are encouraged to 
reiterate the hysteria handed down by law enforcement officials.

So long free thought and so long to a system that is supposed to encourage 
debate, the hearing and understanding of various points of view to help us 
build a society of citizens who are improved as a result of the debate. My 
friends and I are alive, as we have said to hell with the police and 
legislators who continue to pour new wine into very, very old skins.

Present laws and perceptions regarding drug use have moved beyond mere 
irrelevance to tragic and sickening irresponsibility on the part of 
government officials and law enforcers.

It's time for the folks in Toronto's City Hall and legislators across the 
country to wake up and accept the fact that despite archaic and brutish 
laws people, both young and old, are going to use drugs. It's time to 
accept that fact and work with that reality instead of against it.

Glenn Curry

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