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The ecstasy and the agony

Ecstasy is much less dangerous than we thought, say scientists. But politicians are ignoring this

In February the government’s senior drugs adviser compared horse-riding and ecstasy. If the politicians followed the evidence, he said, riding would be classified as more harmful than getting loved up.

David Nutt, who chairs the independent Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, published his paper in the Journal of Psychopharmacology. His claim was partly tongue in cheek. Obviously, he didn’t expect the police to start rounding up horses and shooting them. But he did want a debate about how the government deals with risk. He didn’t get one.

Ecstasy hit its stride in the dance culture of the early…

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