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Ecstasy Rising

January 4th, 2006 . by Matt


I managed to get hold of an absolutely fascinating documentary from Peter Jennings about the drug known as Ecstasy. He traces the origins of the drug, the growth in the number of users, therapeutic uses, recreational use, and the response of governments.

From the ABC press release about the show –

The rise of Ecstasy is a major event in drug history. If current trends continue, 1.8 million Americans will try Ecstasy for the first time in 2004; only marijuana will attract more new users. Overwhelming, positive word of mouth has made Ecstasy a nightmare for drug controllers. On a special edition of ‘Primetime Thursday’ Peter Jennings tells the epic story of Ecstasy that has never been heard.

‘Peter Jennings Reporting: Ecstasy Rising’ airs THURSDAY, APRIL 1st at 10pm EST, 10pm PST, 9pm CST and 9pm MST on the ABC Television Network. In the 1990s, Ecstasy seemed to come out of nowhere to join marijuana, cocaine and heroin as one of the four most widely used illegal drugs in the country. No other drug has ever spread so fast. To halt its spread, the U.S. Government has spent millions of dollars making a dramatic case against Ecstasy as a dangerous drug. The headline of this campaign has been that Ecstasy causes massive brain damage.

But this is a claim based on flawed science, and many Ecstasy users now feel their government has no credibility. What do we know about the real risks of Ecstasy? Has the government been its own worst enemy in the fight to stop the drug’s use? Peter Jennings Reporting: ‘Ecstasy Rising’ takes viewers through the seminal events in this story and introduces all the major players — from Alexander Shulgin, the famous chemist who was the first person to report the effects of Ecstasy, to Michael Clegg, the Dallas businessman who gave Ecstasy its name and turned it into a recreational drug, to the drug enforcement officer who led the fight to make Ecstasy illegal, to the DJ who brought Rave to America. This special tells the definitive story of how an obscure compound, discovered in 1912 and all but forgotten for over 60 years, became the drug of choice for a generation.

This is probably the most even-handed news story I have ever seen on the subject. Obviously people that have tried ecstasy (such as myself) see a huge reality gap between the representations made by the government, and personal experience with the drug.

I strongly recommend this documentary. It makes for fascinating viewing whether you have tried the drug or not.

Right click and save here (114 megabytes) to see it.

3 Responses to “Ecstasy Rising”

  1. comment number 1 by: BananaBoi

    An interesting read.


  2. comment number 2 by: darintenb

    Hmm. Just got done watching. It was indeed interesting. And there is definitely a lot of suspicious stuff being done by ‘the government’ aka ‘the man’ aka ‘whitey’.. but even after watching the video, I think I’ll stick to my original plan that is to “just say no” hehehe.. 😉

  3. comment number 3 by: Katz

    The funny thing is that the people who are interviewed still laugh.