Daily Archives: 09/08/2003

Ecstasy Study Invalidated

Scientists at Johns Hopkins sheepishly admitted that a widely cited study they released last year about the dangers of ecstasy were completely in error. Turns out the scientists were injecting baboons with speed, not ecstasy. The retraction is in the September issue of Science, the journal that published the results exactly one year ago.

This wouldn’t be such a big deal if this study wasn’t cited as one of the reasons for the passage of the RAVE act earlier this year. You don’t remember the RAVE act? Probably not, since it was tacked onto the “Amber Alert” law during the eleventh hour of that bill’s passage through Congress. RAVE stands for “Reducing Americans Vulnerability to ecstasy.” Of course ecstasy wasn’t even on the agenda when federal DEA agents squelched a NORML rally in Billings Montana by threatening the venue’s owner with a $250,000 fine and forfeiture if he allowed the meeting to occur.

This is just the sort of thuggish behavior that was cited when the RAVE act was initially killed in committee last year – that federal authorities would use the threat of action against venues to stifle free speech instead of going after rave venues and promoters. That didn’t stop Senator Joe Biden, the author of the bill, from sneaking it in under the aegis of the “Amber Alert” bill.

So now that this report is exposed as patently false, will the law be repealed? Yeah… right. Try telling that to John Ashcroft and see if he keeps a straight face.

A good source for information on the RAVE act and the abortive “Wars On Drugs” can be found at AlterNet: DrugReporter. An especially good article is The Right To Party by Neal Pollack of the Brooklyn Rail.

Fantasy Football Off And Running

The Zulus looked pretty solid in their first outing this week, knocking off Team Ashebrand. The score is currently Zulus 87 – Ashebrand 69; and our Tampa Bay defense has yet to play. I think this a good start.

There were some gaffes – Starting Matt Hasselbeck (13 points) instead of Tommy Maddox (22 points) proved an error, and we definitely picked the kicker (Jeff Wilkins, 7 points – Jeff Chandler, 19 points). Live and learn. Things will become clearer as the season progresses.