That is what the Chairman of D66, Reinier van Dantzig said in the AT5 Park Politics program. He wants to "look at the problem of criminality in a different way" as there is drug trafficking in the city.
What is MDMA , Ecstasy, Molly, XTC, E or X?
These days, the answer isn't so simple; there are many different chemicals used to create pills and the names are all used collectively and interchangeably as long as the high achieved is most similar to the "original": MDMA, 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine. It is a psychoactive, lab-produced recreational drug, created to explore any psychological therapeutic value. It has been used experimentally to treat depression and PTSD using microdosing techniques. Many social users become acquainted with the drug from "raves" or electronic dance music festivals and other club-type parties.
The original, MDMA came in a crystalline/powder form and was often weighed into 0.1 gram "point" doses and placed in capsules. By the late 1990's they were showing up in liquids and most commonly in pressed pill form. Pressed pills allowed home labs and street chemists to get into the market and use their own recipes to create "designer drugs". The pill pressers often use extra fillers to cut their powder blend before pressing them into different colors, with various brand marks or icons, including images of hearts, smiley faces, Sphinx's or diamonds and logos like Superman, Mercedes, Rolex, Mitsubishi and many more.
When MDMA and MDA were made illegal, new drugs were created that mimicked the effects but were new chemical compounds, so therefore technically legal, until legislation could catch up. As a result designer drug compounds like 2CB, Methylone, Pentedrone, MDPV, 4-MEC and more untested chems make their apperance in most Molly these days.
As the central nervous system is pinpointed, heart rate and blood pressure increases and can have dire consequences in overdoses. The unregulated chemicals can damage the liver and kidneys in extreme cases.
Unfortunately, due to the street trade, there is no guarantee that the pills are safe, free from dangerous chemicals, and uniform in concentration. There are often other designer drugs created in substandard labs or in China that have very similar effects to pure MDMA but with some really nasty ingredients in them. It's nearly impossible to know what you are getting unless you are kickin it with the chemists as they are making it.
Effects of MDMA and all of the copycat compounds
These pills can come in many strengths, and induce various effects. Of course everyone's physiology is different but for most people, true MDMA has more of a touchy, feely, love-in effect. It engaged in "soul purging" talks. The user will start feeling under influence after just 30-45 minutes, and the effects may last from 3 to 6 hours, depending on the dose taken, the drug compund used in the pill, and the person's body weight, among other factors.
Drinking alcohol is strongly discouraged in combination with MDMA (let alone the copycats), while drinking a moderate amount of fluids, mainly water is advised. A person on an Ecstasy trip usually won't feel hungry for hours, until the effects start to subside. People who are in a bad mental or emotional state are not advised to experiment with alcohol or any type of drug, as their mindset may lead to a bad trip, causing anxiety, paranoia, hallucinations or even suicidal thoughts.
"If we will investigate how we can legalize the least harmful drugs," Van Dantzig says. "And then you should know that xtc is less bad than the drug I sell in my local bar, namely alcohol".
"I would also like to break a lance for it, [old English for engaging in a competition, battle, or confrontation], and hope that we will move in that direction, that we will see if we can find a way to start a trial with smartshops to distribute it", says the D66 member. "I have to look at it on a small scale".
Tested drugs for personal use
Van Dantzig also wants more test facilities. "So that you can better gauge what you exactly take in. And as far as I'm concerned, we're not going to prosecute people who really have very small amounts".
The Amsterdam coalition agreement already stated that "it is being looked into which (soft) drugs can be decriminalized". The more conservative VVD party does not support the ideas of D66. "The moment you do that in Amsterdam, it is rather naïve to think that crime will disappear".
The Smokers Guide team fondly remember the "good ol' days", when large festivals and parties had mobile labs set up to test drug quality, free of cost and persecution. Those days ended long ago.
Most "recreational drugs" have typically been outlawed, forcing people to purchase products from the grey area, with a risk of health damage or sometimes even death. Testing ensured that people desiring to get high, or trip, could do it safely and within reason. Street dealers who may often have geniune and harmless intentions themselves, will often not even realize what they are selling, and rarely go to the trouble of doing lab tests of their merchandise.
The desire to change one's state of mind, whether in the form of drinking alcohol, smoking cannabis, taking Ecstasy, or even the rush of adrenaline through riding an extreme rollercoaster, is a very human desire. Some people can handle using various substances sparingly and recreationally, without any issues. Others may be more susceptible to addiction, and this is where drugs have a socially damaging effect. Without a doubt, future Extasy users should be age verified, and obligated to listen to a list of precautions offered by a smartshop offering the product.
Alcohol prohibition did not stop the desire to drink. Banning and jailing cannabis users never resulted in stopping people from growing and getting high. People naturally search for an escape or for self-therapy, and the best approach is to give them the right to do so, as safely as possible.
What's your opinion?
If you feel like you have an addiction to any, controlled, or forbidden substances, contact the Jellinek Clinic in Amsterdam. You can receive help with kicking the habit, and even have your drugs tested for free. Click here to learn how it works.
If this idea ever pushes through, and Ecstasy becomes legal, we would recommend you purchase products from the top, most reputable Amsterdam smartshops like the ones listed below. As with purchasing any smart drugs, truffles (click here to read about truffles and Smartshops) or any other party stimulants, you want to make sure to purchase the highest quality, and receive the best advice from staff who know their products, usually because they tested them themselves....
Should tested and controlled XTC pills be allowed for sale at smartshops, or is it better they remain illegal and only available to buy off the streets? Please comment below.
Curious to see what an Amsterdam Smartshop looks like? Check out these videos from Smokers Guide TV: