Rave Radio: Offline (0/0)
Email: Password:
News (Media Awareness Project) - CN BC: Gangs Find Way Around Ecstasy Laws
Title:CN BC: Gangs Find Way Around Ecstasy Laws
Published On:2012-01-18
Source:Province, The (CN BC)
Fetched On:2012-01-20 06:01:01

Drug's Manufacturers Switch to Fake Tablets Linked to Deaths in B.C.
and Alberta

New tough laws cracking down on ecstasy production in B.C. had the
unintended consequences of opening the door to more toxic fake
ecstasy pills, a criminologist says.

The synthetic drug PMMA wasn't on the radar for police or the public
until last week, when the B.C. Coroners Service announced the "new"
unregulated chemical had been linked to at least five ecstasy-related
deaths in B.C. in the past six months, and a number of deaths in Alberta.

Production of ecstasy in B.C., traditionally associated with the
compound MDMA, had fallen off since the possession of precursors
became illegal in 2011, according to the RCMP's federal drug section.

B.C. drug gangs quickly changed horses in order to fill orders, said
Simon Fraser University criminologist Rob Gordon.

"There is a market, and it was limited in the key commodities, so the
producers have found alternative means of maintaining the market,"
Gordon said. "Now they've shot themselves in the foot by doing it,
because they've cooked up some-thing that is quite toxic."

PMMA was first associated with an ecstasy death in 1993, according to
a study completed in the European Union in 2003.

Producers are combining PMMA with a substance called PMA "in fake
'ecstasy' tablets . . . aiming to simulate the MDMA effects expected
by users," the study said.

According to the study: "Substituting for MDMA could be more
costeffective for illicit producers. In fact, the precursors for
PMA/PMMA are easier to obtain and less strictly con-trolled by
legislation than those for MDMA."

Despite the higher risk associated with PMMA in comparison with MDMA,
officials in B.C. say they are reluctant to give the impression that
ecstasy is ever safe. Therefore, they won't say what colours or logos
are associated with current samples of PMMA-based pills.

According to the European study, in 2003 logos reading "Mitsubishi,"
"Jumbo" or "E" were most commonly found on tablets containing PMMA/PMA.

In social media conversations on Tuesday, some were blaming recent
deaths on drug policy.

"Recent cases of ecstasy overdose in Alberta and B.C. point the
finger at the government's drug prohibition that forces cooks to use
PMMA instead of MDMA," one man posted on Facebook on Tuesday.
Member Comments
No member comments available...