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Sun Nov 25, 2012, 11:22 PM

Ecstasy (MDMA) - are the benefits worth the environmental cost?

On another thread was a discussion of the benefits of ecstasy re: PTSD.

What really bothers me (along with all the other ways we are fucking over our only home) is the severe damage the production of the precursor chemicals does to an extremely fragile ecosystem in Cambodia.

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- http://www.irinnews.org/Report/79340/CAMBODIA-Ecstasy-tabs-destroying-forest-wilderness

The production of sassafras oil, which is used to make the recreational drug ecstasy, in southwest Cambodia, is destroying trees, the livelihoods of local inhabitants and wreaking untold ecological damage, according to David Bradfield, adviser to the Wildlife Sanctuaries Project of Fauna and Flora International (FFI).

The sassafras oil comes from the Cardamom Mountain area, one of the last forest wildernesses in mainland southeast Asia, and where the FFI project is based.

"The illicit distilling of sassafras oil in these mountains is slowly but surely killing the forests and wildlife," Bradfield told IRIN. "The production of sassafras oil is a huge operation, which affects not only the area where the distilleries are actually located, but ripples outwards, leaving devastation and destruction in its wake."

~ snip ~

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It's not like it is clipping buds from a self contained plant that merely has to be dried out to use (which, I might add, does not kill people).

So I ask, is the production of ecstasy worth the terrible cost?

3 replies, 886 views

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Reply Ecstasy (MDMA) - are the benefits worth the environmental cost? (Original post)
FrodosPet Nov 2012 OP
FrodosPet Nov 2012 #1
hexola Nov 2012 #2
FrodosPet Nov 2012 #3

Response to FrodosPet (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 12:54 AM

1. This is how a tree is turned into colourful, euphoria-inducing pills

http://www.treehugger.com/corporate-responsibility/ecstasy-mdma-threatens-rare-cambodian-tree.html

- First, the roots are chopped into small blocks and shredded into a fibrous consistency
- The shredded roots are then cooked up in large metal vats over a wood fire for a distillation period of at least five days — which requires that a large number of other trees also be chopped down for firewood
- Safrole, a colorless or slightly yellow oil, is the resulting product, and is the primary precursor for all manufacture of MDMA (methylenedioxymethamphetamine).

"Sassafras oil processing plants are usually located besides streams to provide water for boiling and cooling the distilled oil," says David Bradfield, adviser to the Wildlife Sanctuaries Project of FFI.

The oil often leaks into the streams, harming local wildlife and fauna. "There are frequently dead fish and frogs floating in the streams near these distilleries," Bradfield adds. The contaminated water from this area ultimately flows down into the rest of Cambodia through the Mekong and Tonle Sap rivers.

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Response to FrodosPet (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 01:01 AM

2. I guess I missed the part about the benefits?

Yeah - not worth it...

Do you expect the addled morons who ingest this garbage to give a shit...?

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Response to hexola (Reply #2)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 01:18 AM

3. Link to the original post

A ‘Party Drug’ May Help the Brain Cope With Trauma

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10021881346

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I am not automatically against things that make people feel good, or especially that can help them.

Unfortunately, the manufacture of ecstasy involves the same level of greed and reckless disregard for the environment as the oil companies and other assorted rapists of Mother Earth.

If there is a more Earth-friendly solution, I may not be quite as opposed to its therapeutic manufacture. But the status quo is unacceptable.

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