It is not often that a health care professional advocates for a drug which has been known to cause extreme bouts of paranoia, frightening hallucinations and the occasional death.

So, when it does happen, it’s news.

The chief health officer of British Columbia, Dr. Perry Kendall, told Canadian press that ecstasy, or MDMA, may not only be safe for consumption, but it may not have any negative long term health effects, as well.

However, Dr. Kendall says there is a big difference between pure ecstasy and the stuff that gets cut with other chemicals and makes up the vast majority of what is sold on the street.

He said, “Unless you are getting it from a psychiatrist in a legitimate clinical trial, at the present time, you can’t guarantee what’s in it, how much there is, or its safety, so I would say, as we have said in the past: Don’t take it.”

That’s right — ecstasy, as well as a drug called ketamine, a horse tranquilizer know as “Special K”, are both being fed to volunteers in a clinical setting to not only test the wild-eyed effects of these drugs on the human race, but also to see if they might offer additional health benefits.

Kendall offered the press a common drug philosophy often professed by those advocating for legalization, explaining that the legalization of ecstasy would take control out of the hands of criminals and give the government a chance to regulate the industry.

“If you knew what a safe dosage was, you might be able to buy ecstasy like you could buy alcohol from a government-regulated store,” Kendall said during an interview.

Dr. Kendall is not the first medical expert to advocate for and defend the safety of pure MDMA.

Researchers have been examining the various pharmacological uses for the drug since the 1980s, long before it ever became illegally consumed by pop culture.

[NPR]