On March 12. 2004, Jose Carlos Bouso, PhD, participated in a televissd debate about drug policy. Here is his report:
Neither the Director of the Spanish Antidrug Agency nor the Director of the Madrid Antidrug Agency attended the debate. They delegated their participation in some of their employees. The debate was attended by:
- A representative of the Spanish Antidrug Agency
- A representative of the Madrid Antidrug Agency
- A representative of an Association that works rehabilitating drug abusers
- A social worker
- A psychiatrist on the Universidad Complutense of Madrid
- And me.
The debate was well. It was focused on the problems associated with recreational drugs, above all, cannabis, which it seems is the new “dark beast” to the Spanish authorities. I had to clarify some misconceptions regarding cannabis toxicity, but as time was passing by, the issue of MDMA/PTSD research was being forgotten by the moderator. I used the last minutes of my intervention to talk about the MDMA/PTSD research projects that was/are being developed both in Spain and US. I said that the Spanish project was stopped for political reasons and that the US just approved a similar project. Though it was quite difficult to talk about PTSD/MDMA research because the interest of the debate was focused on other issues, I was able to dedicate a couple of minutes to that. I am quite satisfied with my interventions and I hope that it could serve to transmit to the public opinion another way of understanding forbidden drugs, which includes an understanding of their therapeutic potential.
The TV debate will be released in 2 weeks, but not on important TV channels, but I hope that it could still reach a wide number of people in Spain. On the other hand, during these sad days all the media are talking about PTSD. I hope the upcoming Nature article will serve to call the attention of the Spanish media to MDMA/PTSD research.