The US Sentencing Commission Held an Open Hearing Concerning its Proposal to Increase Penalties

The US Sentencing Commission held an open hearing concerning its proposal to increase penalties on MDMA. Testimony about MDMA opposing the increase was presented by Rick Doblin, Ph.D., David Nichols, Ph.D., Charles Grob, M.D., Julie Holland, M.D. and Richard Glen Boire, Esq. Testimony about legal issues by opponents of the increase was presented by Ed Mallet, Executive Director of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), Julie Stewart, Executive Director of Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM), and Bill McColl, Legislative Director of The Lindesmith Center/ Drug Policy Foundation (TLC/DPF). The testimony had little effect and the Sentencing Commission recommended substantial increases in penalties. MDMA is now, dose for dose, punished more heavily than heroin.
      Judge Diane Murphy, Chair of the U.S. Sentencing Commission, explained the rationale behind the Commission’s recommendation during a hearing of the Senate Caucus on International Drug Control on March 21, 2001. (See also visual presentation).