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Legal Consequences of Abusing Ecstasy and Carrying Ecstasy

Surprisingly, Ecstasy was once a legal substance.  However, it is now illegal to use, carry, or sell this drug.  When a person is caught using, selling, or even possessing a small amount for personal use, the punishment can be stiff.

Ecstasy is a derivative of MDMA (methylene dioxy methamphetamine) that produces hallucinogenic effects.  Usually found in pill form, Ecstasy can contain other substances such as caffeine, aspirin, or ketamine.  Ketamine is a veterinary drug used to sedate animals.  It is known on the streets as Special K.   For these reasons, a person is not aware of the presence of these other dangerous and is at risk of serious complications.  In some cases, the Ecstasy many not contain any MDMA at all.  However, if caught with it, the legal consequences are the same as those for the MDMA substance.

Legal Consequences of Using or Selling Ecstasy

Ecstasy became illegal in the US in 1985 and was classified as a Schedule 1 substance by the Controlled Substances Act.  This means the drug has no medical use, is highly addictive, and cannot be obtained by prescription.  Punishments for carrying or using Ecstasy are based off a scale that compares Ecstasy to certain amounts of marijuana.  For instance, in terms of punishments:

  • one gram of heroin = 1,000 grams of marijuana
  • one gram of Ecstasy = about 500 grams of marijuana

Possession of around 200 grams of Ecstasy results in approximately six years of jail time.  Small amounts for personal use brings a penalty of at least one year in jail in addition to a hefty fine.  Second offenses of Ecstasy possession amount to a minimum incarceration of at least 15 days up to two years, including a fine.  Third-time offenders can spend up to 90 days to three years in prison.

It is important to note that the above punishments are based on Federal guidelines only.  Generally, each state has its own guidelines for sentencing Ecstasy abusers.  For instance, in California, a person caught with Ecstasy who has no other prior offenses can plea for diversion therapy rather than jail time.  In comparison, the state of Texas enforces 18 days to two years in prison for those caught with only one gram of Ecstasy.  The state of Texas imposes even more significant consequences for anyone attempting to distribute Ecstasy.

Why is Ecstasy so Popular?

Known as a “club drug”, Ecstasy reached popularity because of the enhanced experience it creates for participants at an EDM (Electronic Dance Music) or Rave club.  One of the most desired effects of the drug is the euphoric state that causes the person to see vivid colors or vibrant sound.  Many users also feel a sense of intense empathy or closeness with others.

Another popular effect of Ecstasy use is the ability to dance for hours without stopping.  This happens because the drug gives the person a sense of being energized.  However, this effect has led to many deaths due to dehydration and organ failure.  In fact, the occurrence of this effect is so prevalent that many bars provide a “cool down” or “chill” room where guests can cool off and rehydrate to avoid the serious complications.

If you would like more information on the legal consequences of abusing Ecstasy or carrying Ecstasy, a member of our knowledgeable staff is available to provide the facts you need.   Also, if you need help choosing a treatment program for Ecstasy addiction, we can help you select a program for your needs and preferences.  Call today.



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