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December 4, 2009 -- The Stranger (WA)

Obama "Ecstasy" Pills Contain Zero Ecstasy

By Dominic Holden

Return to Drug War News: Don't Miss Archive


National media are flapping their wings and crowing about "ecstasy" pills that are shaped like the president's big ol' head. And when cops, who discovered the Obama heads in Texas, tell reporters what to write, the drug war scribes in MSM newsrooms diligently report it to the masses. Here's the Associated Press:

"Police in Palmview detained the driver after finding black tar heroin, cocaine, marijuana and several Ecstasy pills. Police say the Ecstasy was in brightly colored pills made to look like cartoon characters Homer Simpson, the Smurfs and even Obama.

"Police spokesman Lenny Sanchez says the drugs look like a "vitamin for kids.""

But the media appears to have this story wrong. The pills aren't ecstasy., which tests the composition of pills passed off as ecstasy around the country, has listed the ingredients of pills submitted earlier this year matching the description and appearance of those Obama tablets.

"Analysis of the tablets by GC/MS revealed that the tablets contained BZP, TFMPP, and caffeine," reports. The site has info on three different colors of the same shaped pill -- red, orange, and green -- and none contain ecstasy, but all contain those three other drugs. The lab tests on the Obama pills come from the DEA.

So what are those drugs? BZP is a stimulant that cast one user into a 12-hour nightmare, and TFMPP is reported to have effects akin to acid. A news report this morning begins with this headline: "Police warn of dangerous BZP passed as ecstasy."

But the media are practically promoting the Obama pills -- which contain BZP that "can prove deadly in certain circumstances" -- as ecstasy. (While it's possible that cops in Texas did discover pills in Texas that contained ecstasy (MDMA), it seems unlikely; the pills online appear identical to the ones cops found and has no record of any Obama pills that do contain ecstasy.)

The media's laziness on reporting this story is potentially dangerous. After reading these reports, which read like ads for Lucky Charms, people who want to do ecstasy could see these pills and buy them, having been told by the Associated Press that they are ecstasy. But they may be getting a more dangerous, especially if users don't know what they're taking.

The press does nobody favors by talking about how cute drugs are (particularly when there's an unregulated market, which allows underground drug manufacturers to taint and market drugs any way they want). This media blitz is practically an advertisement for ecstasy. Look how fun!

"Ecstasy is known for a sense of elation, diminished feelings of fear and anxiety, and ability to induce a sense of intimacy with others," reports CBS. Look how pretty! (Look how funny! "Perhaps a good Election Day strategy to get out the vote?" says CBS. Har! Powerful drugs are hilarious, kids! But it's not really that hilarious to tell people something is ecstasy -- or pot, or alcohol, or aspirin -- and then slip 'em something else.

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