The argument for drug legalization has been going on long enough that it’s been able to boil down to a few key points:

1) drug legalization would curtail the cartels responsible for a great deal of violence stemming from turf wars and supply chains
2) legalization would cut down on costs of incarceration, freeing up funds for harm reduction and education rather than prosecution; and perhaps most importantly
3) legalization would result in purer, safer drugs with known effects and dosages, cutting down on unnecessary deaths and ODs.

With regard to the last point, Australian pharmacist Joshua Donelly and leading doctor Professor David Penington are calling for their government to legalize MDMA and regulate it, and then sell it through pharmacies where educated professionals can detail the risks and dangers before people use.

The majority of MDMA being sold on the street is anything but, leading to increased risk of dehydration and a host of other maladies. With a purer, more regulated production process, the risk of contaminants in substances would be greatly reduced.

“Australians are one of the highest consumers of MDMA in the world, yet we resolutely resist exploring the fact that most of the uncommon ill consequences of its use arise from impurities in illicitly manufactured drug and the ‘illicit’, uncontrolled circumstances of its use,” [says Professor Penington].

Research on MDMA has resumed in the US thanks to new discoveries concerning post-traumatic stress disorder, yet other developed nations still lag behind. MDMA has a large stigma surrounding it thanks to maligned media coverage and inaccurate misconceptions on the risks included with taking it. The reality is, “compared to other drugs, MDMA caused ‘negligible’ harm to users and people around them.”

Though “the Australian government says it has no plans to legalise MDMA,” we hope that efforts from Donelly and Penington inspire other professionals to speak up and out about the reality of MDMA and its massive list of benefits. At the very least, Australia’s neighbor New Zealand has also taken up the fight.