Greens leader Senator Richard Di Natale thinks that it’s time we had a serious policy discussion about the legalisation of medicinal and therapeutic use of MDMA, according to previously unreleased comments on a podcast several months ago.
Di Natale appeared on Music, Weed & Cheese, a podcast heavily focused on marijuana and the campaign for legalisation. He spoke to host Michael Kugel about his perspective as a politician and general practitioner when it came to medicinal cannabis. This is known Greens policy, and their platform calls for “the regulated use of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) for specified medical purposes, such as intractable pain.”
But in an unreleased final segment of the interview, Di Natale talks about the possible therapeutic applications of methylenedioxymethamphetamine, better known to the punters as MDMA or molly.
“MDMA has got huge potential as a therapeutic agent,” he says in the interview. “We’ve got this crazy thing where we’ve got illicit drugs over here, we’ve got pharmaceutical drugs over there […] they’re all part of the same thing. They all mess with your bodies in different ways. If it works, we call it therapeutic, if it doesn’t, we call it toxic.”
“But ultimately they all impact your body in some way,” he says. “I’m really open for the conversation and I’m keen to get Parliament talking about this.”
He’s right: researchers have investigated possible medicinal use of MDMA since it was first synthesised in 1912. American chemist Alexander Shulgin considered its possible use in therapy in the 1960s based on its disinhibiting effects, which made patients in therapy more likely to openly communicate.
The drug is currently undergoing pilot studies coducted by the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies in California intended to determine its efficacy in treating conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder and social anxiety in autistic adults.
A spokesperson for Di Natale told PEDESTRIAN.TV that the Greens do not support any legalisation of currently illicit drugs beyond their previously confirmed support for regulated access to medicinal cannabis.
Chalk this one up as Di Natale speaking off the cuff about his personal beliefs around drugs – but it goes to show just how meek the mainstream Australian narrative around drugs is when even Greens policy can’t yet accommodate these conversations.
Photo: Getty Images / Anadolu Agency.