The Banning of "E for Ecstasy" by Nicholas Saunders


The book entitled E for Ecstasy, by Nicholas Saunders, is a book of
history, information, and stories about the illegal drug ecstasy. The author
presents a vast amount of information about many aspects of the drug such as the
history of the invention of the drug, information about how the drug effects
people in different ways, positive reasons to use the drug, side effects and
negative reasons to use the drug, and an overview of how the drug has been
accepted into various societal groups.
A shipment of this book, which was published in England in 1994, was
ceased by Australian customs agents in the spring of 1994 and has been banned in
Australia ever since. The ban on this book is currently still in place and
being upheld by the Australian government due to the way the book portrays the
drug ecstasy in a primarily positive way. According to the author of the book,
even anti-drug groups are opposed to the ban because they believe both sides of
the story should be heard.
As I read this book, at first I felt a temptation to try ecstasy due to
the positive way in which the drug was described. After reading further into
the text, however, much more detailed information about the drug is brought
fourth. For example, the book associates use of ecstasy with the cultures of
all kinds of illegal drugs. In my opinion, the ban should be lifted because the
book does not just give the positive information about this drug. While the
book does side towards the use of the drug, it does provide all kinds of
interesting information and education including negative data about the drug.
If information about drugs is kept in the dark, people will be tempted to seek
information in potentially harmful ways. If information flows freely, however,
people can usually be trusted to make smart choices.
The latest twist to this otherwise traditional story is that the entire
text of the book is now available on the Internet, as is the text of many other
banned books. E is for Ecstasy can be found at: http://hyperreal.com/drugs/e4x/
While it is ironic that the citizens of Australia can now gain electronic
access to this banned book, the more important issue is one of the Internet\'s
ability to give people world wide access to anything. This is just one more
example of electronic information flowing into a country where it not allowed.
Because of the ease at which banned books can now be obtained anywhere, the
future of what we now know as banned books has been forever altered.

Category: Social Issues