As debates rages in Australia and New Zealand over pill testing at festivals, one Aussie GP has weighed in saying MDMA "is not that dangerous".
"If it was in a pure form, and you're a healthy person … it's probably not that dangerous," the GP told the Australian Radio Network.
The declaration, by specialist GP David Charles Thomas, has been made with a few caveats and comes with advice against taking the drug, also known as ecstasy. In a podcast titled Triggered, by Deborah Clay, the GP explains the way MDMA works to heighten excitement on users but also limits their ability to self- regulate temperature.
"It can make them feel like they have a lot more energy, but it also decouples their temperature regulation and their perception to the extent of any warning signs," he said.
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Combined with the heat, dancing and general exertion of music festivals, users could easily overheat, he said.
In NSW, pill testing has become a hot topic ahead of the March 23 election. Five people died after taking drugs at festivals in the state between September 2018 and January 2019, prompting a public outcry for pill testing trials. But the NSW government remains firmly opposed.
The podcast, broadcast late last week, comes as former federal senator David Leyonhjelm called the government's opposition "stupid".
The Liberal Democrat, who is running for the NSW upper house, says people are going to take pills anyway and testing would make the activity safer.
"Just because you disapprove of something does not mean you should prohibit it," he said.