MDMA (Ecstasy) Federal Sentencing Guidelines

UPDATE: Feb 27, 2001

The U.S. Sentencing Commission has backed down on its proposed intention to equate MDMA with heroin under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. That equivalency would have set the Federal Sentencing Guidelines punishment for MDMA offenses at the same level as heroin offenses, assigning to 1 gram of MDMA a marijuana equivalency of 1000 grams.

The Commission is now proposing to equate 1 gram of MDMA to 500 grams of marijuana, placing MDMA at the same punishment level as offenses involving the same amount, by weight, of methadone, oxycodone, or hydrocodone.

Additionally, the Sentencing Commission has agreed to hear limited public comment concerning MDMA at its public hearing scheduled for March 19, 2001.

The Center for Cognitive Liberty & Ethics (CCLE), in conjunction with the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM) and the National Association for Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), is working to present the testimony of several experts at this hearing.

The public hearing will be held on March 19, 2001, at the Thurgood Marshall Federal Judiciary Building, One Columbus Circle, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20002-8002.

A person who desires to testify at the public hearing should notify Michael Courlander, Public Affairs Officer, at (202) 502-4590, not later than March 9, 2001. Written testimony for the public hearing must be received by the Commission not later than March 9, 2001. Timely submission of written testimony is a requirement for testifying at the public hearing. The Commission requests that, to the extent practicable, commentators submit an electronic version of the comment and of the testimony for the public hearing.

Public comment should be sent to: United States Sentencing Commission, One Columbus Circle, N.E., Suite 2-500, Washington, D.C. 20002-8002, Attention:
Public Information.

The Sentencing Commissionís web site is at:

For background information, see:

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