Newsbrief: Pennsylvania Set to Increase Ecstasy Dealing Penalties 12/6/02

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Legislation that would increase penalties for dealing ecstasy (MDMA) in Pennsylvania passed the state House on November 27 and awaits only the governor's signature to become law. Senate Bill 1431, sponsored by state Sen. Jake Corman (R-Bellefonte), would allow judges to sentence ecstasy sellers to the same terms given heroin sellers. Under the bill, selling more than 50 tablets (or 15 grams) can earn up to five years in prison, selling more than 100 tablets (or 30 grams) garners up to 10 years, and selling more than 1000 tablets (or 300 grams) earns up to 15 years, along with a $250,000 fine.

Corman introduced the anti-ecstasy bill after an ecstasy dealing ring was busted in March and a woman died after taking ecstasy in November 2001. "This community witnessed a senseless death as a result of this drug," said Corman in a press release. "Ecstasy is a deadly substance that is claiming the lives of teens and college students across the country and right here at Penn State. Those seeking to make big money by dealing this drug should know this: When your [sic] caught you fill face a long prison sentence and huge fines."

DRCNet could document a total of two ecstasy-related deaths in Pennsylvania in recent years. The state Department of Health was unable to tell DRCNet how many people had died from ecstasy use in the state, but the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) reported a total of 27 deaths nationwide from 1994 to 1999. In comparison, more than 100 people died from heroin overdoses in one Pennsylvania city, Pittsburgh, alone last year.

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Issue #266, 12/6/02 DRCNet Needs Your Help! | Editorial: Crimes and Minor Accidents | MPP Files Complaints Charging Drug Czar Violated Election Laws | Wisconsin Rave Rebellion: Racine in the Hot Seat as Hundreds Demand Trial on Bogus Bust at Electronic Music Benefit Concert | Bye, Bye, Asa: DEA Chief to Leave for Homeland Security Gig, Will Be Replaced by Career Narcocrat | The Lone Horseman: Texas Ex-Cop Hits the Trail for Marijuana Legalization | Newsbrief: This Week's Corrupt Cop Story | Newsbrief: Radical Party Anti-Prohibitionist Wins European of the Year in European Voice Magazine Online Vote | Newsbrief: Study Says Terminal Patients Don't Get Adequate Pain Treatment | Newsbrief: New Jersey Weedman Still Jailed for Thought Crime | Newsbrief: Study Says Few Medical Marijuana Users, Little Impact on Law Enforcement -- Feds, Some Cops Disagree | Newsbrief: Study Says "Gateway Theory" is Bunk | Newsbrief: US Accuses North Korea of Drug Trafficking | Newsbrief: Illinois Prosecutors Use Ecstasy Law to Charge Partiers With Murder | Newsbrief: Canadian House Panel Will Call for Cannabis Decriminalization, Newspaper Says | Newsbrief: Swiss Marijuana Potency Becomes an Issue | Newsbrief: Pennsylvania Set to Increase Ecstasy Dealing Penalties | Anniversary of Alcohol Prohibition | Action Alerts: Rave Bill, Medical Marijuana, Higher Education Act Drug Provision, Tulia, Salvia Divinorum | The Reformer's Calendar

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