Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Lone Dem 'on a high' over stand on ecstasy

The Australian

South Australia's sole Democrat MP says she's "riding on a high" after receiving widespread support for her claims that ecstasy is harmless and should be given to trauma victims.

Sandra Kanck told state parliament last week there was no evidence to suggest MDMA - the active ingredient in ecstasy tablets - was dangerous and that the drug should have been made available to traumatised victims of last year's fatal Eyre Peninsula bushfires.

While she stood by her comments to state parliament, Ms Kanck said they had been taken out of context.

She admitted some people had been upset by her statement, but said she had been talking of the therapeutic use of MDMA, not backyard-manufactured ecstasy.

Despite party disquiet over her comments and calls for her to resign, Ms Kanck said yesterday she had received tremendous support.

"I didn't receive a single phone call from a party member saying, 'What are you on about?"' Ms Kanck told ABC radio in Adelaide.

"The calls I've had have all been incredibly supportive - so much so I'm almost riding on a high at the moment.

There had been calls "from former members saying, 'You've got my vote back - I didn't vote for the Democrats last time and you've got my vote back now"', Ms Kanck said.

More than 110 deaths nationwide have been linked to ecstasy in the past three years.

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