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Frequently (and Infrequently) Asked Questions.

 

Q: What is this site?

A: It's a privately run site that focuses on information about the drug MDMA ('ecstasy'). The site's mission is to reduce the harm caused by drug use and drug laws through education.   As you might guess from the content, there is no connection between this site and any government agency.

Q: TheDEA? WTF?

A: Once upon a time in the age of Reagan when the Drug War had become a spectator sport, The Thing To Do was burning mountains of seized drugs on TV. During one such occasion (shown on the nightly news) a pack of men wearing jackets emblazoned with "DEA" danced around a huge pile of burning marijuana, grinning like jackals. Obviously, these were some passionately Drug Enjoying Americans.   As a joke it was modest, but as a domain name it was perfect: Short, memorable...and not taken. And of course, likely to piss off people without a sense of humor, which is an end in of itself.

 

Q: Don't you worry that you might be promoting drug use?

A: No. My belief is that consenting adults have a right to do as they please with themselves so long as they don't harm, endanger or annoy others in the process. My only specific goal in terms of influencing people's drug use is to try to educate people of the risks as well as the benefits with the hope that they will exercise some moderation and care. I wholeheartedly reject the idea that drug use is wrong, or that people should place the opinions of distant bureaucrats above their own careful judgment. Screw the government. These are the people that categorize marijuana as being as dangerous and addictive as heroin; they are not competent to have an opinion on recreational drugs, much less dictate private behavior to their betters at gunpoint. Deification of the law is a character flaw; an excuse for evil and weak men to not take responsibility for their own lives and actions. That something is illegal does not make it wrong, nor does something being legal (as slavery was) make it morally acceptable.

 

Q: Am I going to get in trouble for coming here?

A: Absolutely not. Drug information sites have been running openly for many years, and have never had their readers harassed by law enforcement. And why would they be? Wanting to learn more about a drug certainly isn't illegal. Even the 'other' DEA has been known to drop by.  :-)

 

Q: Sometimes you call it 'ecstasy', sometimes MDMA. Aren't they the same thing?

A: Ideally, yes, but when dealing with the black market drug supply, an 'ecstasy' pill may have contained any number of things. Because of this, when discussing things like studies of drug users I use the indefinite 'ecstasy', since I can't be sure how much of their drug supply was really MDMA, pure, etc.

 

Q: What's your privacy policy?

A: TheDEA.org main site does not use cookies or any other mechanism to identify or follow users. The Forums use a cookie to remember your login if you use that option. The site's log files do gather the 'standard' information, which amounts to "a computer running Windows XP and Internet Explorer 6.1 requested such-and-such pages from the IP address of such-and-such." Server logs also report how a user reached our site (ie. 'from Google', 'from a bookmark', etc.) These server logs are used only to gauge the overall level of traffic, where it comes from, and to find dead links. Living humans never even look at the raw data, and we will not share the logs in part or whole with anybody for any reason.

Unless you have taken specific efforts to remain anonymous (such as the use of anonymous proxies) you should assume that any statements you make online can be traced back to you if law enforcement is determined. Act accordingly; do not discuss ongoing illegal activity online.

Q: So...why should people trust what you have to say?

A: They shouldn't. They should consider all sides of the argument, look at the evidence and research, and make up their own minds.

 

Q: The information given on TheDEA.org doesn't always agree with other drug sites. Who's right?

A: In all likelihood the other site is incorrect, but all large works have errors; you presume upon my infaliability at your own peril. If you have a particular question, feel free to e-mail me or you can post general drug questions on the Dancesafe or Bluelight discussion boards. In some cases an apparent difference of opinion is simply the result of a difference of context/author intent.

 

Q: Are you a doctor/qualified to give medical advice?

A: No. My educational background mainly involves killing lab rats, not saving humans. While my opinions on MDMA ('ecstasy') and drugs in general are considerably more informed than those of the average man on the street, I am not formally trained or licensed to diagnose or treat any human illness. Take or ignore my advice at your own risk.

 

Q: Where do you get your information?

A: I draw my information almost exclusively from the original scientific research. Well over a thousand professional articles have been written about MDMA ('ecstasy'.) I've read almost all of them. Where I don't get my information is from secondary sources such as the evening news, Oprah, friends, etc. I don't trust anything that I can't go to the original source on. This web site has extensive foot notes, so if you wish you can read the original research yourself. Most documents are available on-line.

 

Q: Why create another drug information site?

A: I felt compelled to share what I knew about MDMA (there's a lot of bad information out there.) As far as why I didn't just write for one of the excellent existing sites, in a word: Freedom. When you work for somebody else, you have to fit into their politics, their personalities, their interpretations of research, etc. Here I can do and say anything I please and be judged only by the marketplace of ideas. The price is a lack of support; working for another site I wouldn't have to pay for hosting and would have an instant reader base, but for me editorial control is much more important. This way, I don't have to sell anything, carry any ads, link to anybody I don't feel is deserving or anything else. No compromises, no outside interference; editorial dictatorship in its purest form. :-) It takes a certain personality type to wake up in the morning believing that you can change the world through sheer force of will, and we don't like to compromise. That said, if you have a suggestion, complaint, etc. I would more than happy to hear it.

 

Q: Who pays for/supports this site?

A: I do. All costs are out-of-pocket. Under no circumstances will commercial ads ever be allowed, which I believe are in tremendously bad taste and harmful to credibility.  A self-respecting drug information site isn't trying to line anybody's pockets.

 

Q: What about credits and copyrights?

A: If no copyright or reference is given on an article/writing, I am the author. (Images used in discussions of research are often from the cited research.) Most photographs are courtesy of Mark; if you want to use one of them, ask him.  If you would like to copy or post parts of this site elsewhere, I just ask that you include a notice of where you got it from.

 

Q: What's the big deal with glowsticks anyway?

   

A: Well, since you ask, glowsticks are powered by a simple redox reaction that radiates electromagnetic energy in the visible spectrum. <girlish squeal of joy> OK, maybe not everybody enjoys them the way I do. If the question is 'what is it about ravers and glowsticks', glowsticks are just one of those simple pleasures in life. The colors are interesting, it's a diffuse light source so it's easy on the eyes, and the whole thing is cheap and disposable. While it's fair to say people on MDMA are enjoying glowsticks more than the sober people are, there's nothing particularly special about them...they've fallen in and out of favor in different times and places. There's also a very practical side: Raves tend to be poorly lit, and a glowstick gives you your own little navigation beacon and light source so people can easily see each other coming.

      In New Orleans in 2001, glowsticks were declared "illegal drug paraphernalia" by the local government and the operators of a local club that sold glowsticks arrested under "crack house" laws. As no remotely sane person thinks glowsticks cause drug use, I take such cases as further proof that drug prohibition was never about stopping drugs; it's about trying to punish socially 'undesirable' groups (such as young adults that like to go to clubs and listen to loud music.) They may not wear bed sheets anymore, but the prohibitionists are the same people that would have been marching in KKK rallies a hundred years ago...that dark underbelly of humanity that fears and hates what it doesn't understand. The drug laws are little more than the last socially acceptable form of lynching, as evidenced by the vastly disproportionate numbers of minorities arrested and imprisoned on drug charges, as well as the orders-of-magnitude more brutal sentencing for 'minority drugs' like crack vs. the powder cocaine of white middle-class conservatives like President Bush.

 

Brief History of TheDEA.org:

TheDEA.org began as a vague tickle of an idea in the spring of 2002. It was informally announced on New Year's day 2003 with a rant posted to Dancesafe. The domain name was registered a few weeks later and web space secured. The last of the originally planned material was finished and uploaded July 16, 2003. A new set of 'button' graphics went up in January 2004. At the start of 2006, a discussion Forum and Audiovisual section were added. Work is ongoing, but at a much slower pace than during the initial phase of content creation.