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MDMA: The History of Rolling out of Control


MDMA: The History of Rolling out of Control

The Library of Everything’s impressively-researched YouTube clip provides much more than the mere history of MDMA. It also provides more than a few acute cultural signifiers. Whether that’s because Molly doesn’t roll with mere history or the LoE is determined to be culturally significant is anyone’s guess. So is whether or not we’re all soon to be rolling out of control. Nevertheless, any outfit that goes to such great lengths deserves to be heard – and watched. The Library of Everything is that kinda outfit.

Have at it!

The History of MDMA

“I feel absolutely clean inside and there is nothing but pure euphoria. I am overcome by the profundity of the experience.”

So flows Alexander Shulgin’s lab notes after the American chemist first experimented with MDMA. Once like-minded Leo Zeff rolled over to the inventor’s side, the dance was on.

Amd a dirty dance it is too. In fact, after the LoE traces the dance back to Nazis, the OSS and suspicious psych facilities, it’s a wonder anyone ever again felt “clean inside.” Then again, when you’ve got knotty head spies dosing out mescaline while attempting to win world wars, there’s bound to be a little mud.

And blood. Thank Zeus the powers that be got distracted before they drained everybody dry. Why? Because that left a whole lotta blood to be pumped to the hearts of party people.

As the clip attests, MDMA’s recipe leaked out from Cali in 1970. The Midwest got the new batch. Then it spread back to the Coasts. In the ‘80s though MDMA somehow ended-up in Dallas. The world has been rolling ever since.

Blame the Starck Club

Designed by French starchitect Philippe Starck, paid for by oil money and run like a Manhattan hotspot, the Starck Club allowed Dallas to flex in flagrant new ways. It also allowed Texans the freedom to go as wild as they wanted.

And boy did folks go wild! It wasn’t just Texans though. In addition to Dallas, Southern California, South Florida and the Northeast became X hotspots in the early ‘80s. And, as the clip reminds us, the Feds couldn’t do a thing about it either. Why? Because at that point MDMA was still legal.

Then came the DEA push to put MDMA on the Schedule I narcotics list. Meaning they believed there was a High Potential for Abuse and No Accepted Medical Use.

The folks at the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) lobbied for Schedule III instead. They might have succeeded too, had the Feds not completely disregarded all established practices and protocols. But disregard the Feds did. And that’s putting it rather politely.

X Goes Offshore

The next block of heads to roll was in Ibiza. Since the Spanish party island is a favorite of Brits, MDMA quickly slipped into the UK bloodstream. From then on, club culture would never be the same.

Neither would culture itself. Not only did Molly fuel the decade-long rave scene, but it basically became the driver of a scene that eventually gave way to EDM. Along the way MDMA became the drug of choice for anyone seeking a hug.

We mean that both physically and mentally. See, in addition to compelling people to literally hug each other, MDMA also figuratively hugs the brain. That is, it helps release chemicals that have the potential to heal and sooth the user. Consequently, the so-called hug-drug has shown promise in treating folks afflicted with such disorders as PTSD.

MAPS knew this. That’s why the organization remained undaunted when sham research and junk science kept Americans very afraid of MDMA over the past few decades. It’s also why MAPS has spent more recent years aligning with government agencies, including the FDA. And how they persuaded their erstwhile opponents to greenlight some clear-eyed studies.

Yes, the results have been promising. Yet the jury is still out. And the verdict is highly unlikely to go one way or another regardless. One thing is certain though, “the War on Drugs is a War on People.” And until authorities stop locking up users and start fairly studying what they use, people will suffer.

Many thanks to the Library of Everything and The Museum of Lost Things.

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