Ecstasy Legality in the United States
In the US, MDMA is a Schedule I illicit drug with no accepted medical use or benefit, alongside LSD, cannabis, and heroin. In 2001, the US Government enacted harsh new penalties for those supplying Ecstasy.
- A person who is convicted of manufacturing or distributing 50 grams or more of EX may be sentenced to a prison sentence of 10 years to life and/or be required to pay a fine of up to $4 million if the defendant is an individual or $10 million if the defendant is other than an individual.
- Where death or serious injury results from the distribution of the drug, the penalties increase to 20 years to life in prison and/or a fine of $8 million for an individual defendant and $20 million if the defendant is other than an individual.
- o Possession of 5 grams or more of XTC carries a penalty of 5-40 years in prison.
- o In a case where death or serious injury results from using the drug, the penalty increases to a prison sentence of 20 years to life and/or a fine of $2 million for an individual defendant and $5 million where the defendant is other than an individual.
XTC Legality in the UK
In the UK, Ecstasy is a Class-A drug, alongside heroin and cocaine, with extreme penalties for possession and supply. The relevant statute is the Misuse of Drugs Act, and it deals with the issue of certain drugs being used for non-medical purposes.
The maximum penalty for possession of a Class A drug is seven years in prison. The judge in the case can also impose a fine of any amount he or she considers appropriate. There is no limit to the amount that a person may be ordered to pay on conviction for this offense.
A person who is convicted of supplying a Class A substance may be sentenced to life in prison. A fine of any amount may also be imposed, as well and there is no limit to the amount that the accused may be required to pay.
EX Legality in Canada
In Canada, EX is under the jurisdiction of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. Possession of Ecstasy, which is considered a Schedule III drug, can be tried as either a summary or an indictable offense.
- o If the possession charge is dealt with as a summary offense, the penalty on conviction for a first offense is six months in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.
- o A subsequent conviction as a summary offense carries a penalty of up to one year in jail and/or a $2,000 fine.
- o Where a case of possession of the Love Drug is being treated as an indictable offense, the penalties on conviction are higher. In this situation, the accused may be sent to prison for up to 10 years.
Where a person is convicted of possessing EX for the purpose of either importing or exporting the drug, the penalties are as follows:
- For a summary conviction, the punishment is 18 month in jail.
- If the matter is treated as an indictable offense, the penalty is up to 10 years in prison.
Producing Ecstasy is also a criminal offense under Canadian law. It can be treated as a summary or indictable offense. On summary conviction, the penalty is up to 18 months in prison. The penalty for an indictable offense is up to 10 years imprisonment.
When a judge is making a sentencing decision, the law gives the court discretion to consider the circumstances of the crime, including the following:
- Whether a weapon was carried or used.
- Whether the accused used (or threatened to use) violence.
- If the offense was committed near a school or another public place where children are likely to congregate.
- Whether the accused supplied drugs to a person under the age of 18.
- If the accused has a prior record for a drug-related offense.
- Whether the accused enlisted the help of a person under the age of 18 to commit the offense.
When one or more of these factors exist, the judge will likely sentence the accused to prison, as opposed to imposing a fine.