DEA Approves Use of Ecstasy in Trauma Study

Some progress in fighting drug war hysteria: The Drug Enforcement Administration will allow a South Carolina doctor to treat 12 trauma victims with Ecstasy to study the drug's therapeutic potential.

The DEA's move marks a historic turn for a drug that has long been both venerated and vilified. Ecstasy, also known as MDMA, is popular among casual drug users for its reputed capacity to engender feelings of love, trust and compassion. The government classifies it with LSD and heroin as a drug with no known medical use and high potential for abuse.

Although the study's approval is by no means a federal endorsement of uncontrolled use, it will give ecstasy's proponents their first legitimate opportunity to prove the drug can offer medical benefits.

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