Originally used as a therapeutic drug in the 1970's, ecstasy has emerged as a popular street drug in the United States, commonly associated with the youth dance scene. The active ingredient, MDMA, creates an overwhelming sense of euphoria in the user. Side effects include an increased heart rate and dehydration. These conditions can present serious health risks in the context of nightclub environments.
Federal Prosecution of Ecstasy
Like many other illicit drugs, ecstasy use is not typically prosecuted under federal law. However, over recent years, the federal government has dedicated a considerable amount of attention on the international and domestic ecstasy trade. this increased attention has focused on disrupting the manufacture and distribution of ecstasy and has been matched legislatively with heavier federal penalties for the distribution and manufacture of ecstasy.
State Prosecution of Ecstasy
States have a wide range of fines and penalties for the possession, use, or sale of ecstasy and MDMA. In the case of ecstasy, many states have increased the minimum and maximum penalties use to prosecute ecstasy, in an effort to mirror federal efforts to disrupt the spread of the drug. The following is a breakdown of the parameters of state prosecution:
- Fine: $500 - $750,000
- Jail Time: 8 months - 15 years
- Fine: $5,000 - $1,000,000
- Jail Time: 1 year - Life in Prison
Should I Hire an Attorney?
If you have been accused of or arrested for possessing or selling ecstasy, you should contact a criminal defense attorney. Ecstasy cases have faced increased scrutiny and more active prosecutions, the advice of a defense attorney may help both the procedural aspects of criminal prosecution but also to understand better your jurisdictions attitudes toward this drug.