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Could ecstacy follow in the footsteps of marijuana?

Over the last five years, the public perception of marijuana has definitely changed. Since 2012, dozens of states have implemented laws allowing the medical use of the drug, and a handful of states have either decriminalized the possession of marijuana (i.e. made it a fineable offense only) or have legalized its recreational use.

It remains to be seen whether additional states will legalize medicinal marijuana use or whether the federal government will remove it from the Controlled Substances Act, but one conclusion can be drawn: it is reasonable to believe that the change in this perception was driven by clinical tests showing the medical benefits of THC, particularly on those who suffer from chronic pain.

Against this backdrop, another drug known for its psychedelic properties may be the next “illegal” drug to be used for medicinal purposes. MDMA, also known as “ecstacy” may be approved for the treatment of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

According to a recent goodtherapy.org report, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently designated ecstacy as a “breakthrough therapy” for PTSD. The FDA is responsible for the regulation of prescription drugs and drug trials across the United States. Clinical Interest in ecstacy grew after a 2011 study published by the Multidisiplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) showed that PTSD victims showed significant improvement in battling their disorder after taking ecstacy.

The approval from the FDA is significant because it paves the way for additional trials where researchers will begin Phase 3 trials. Suffice it to say, this step increases the possibility of future medicinal use of ecstacy.

Nevertheless, ecstacy is still defined as a controlled substance under federal law. At this point, reclassification appears to be merely a sentimental dream, so current possession and use of the drug can still carry criminal penalties in the meantime. After all, law enforcement will hardly be convinced that a suspect is using ecstacy purely for medicinal purposes.

But for those arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance, there may be defenses available to refute such charges. An experienced criminal defense attorney can analyze the situation help the accused make informed decisions.