Drugs: It's Ecstasy - with an M

It's Ecstasy -- with an M

For want of a letter m, David Burling, 19, is a free man. On trial in Hastings, Neb., last week for possession of with the intent to deliver 49 capsules of the psychoactive drug Ecstasy, Burling was acquitted on largely lexicological grounds. The state legislature misspelled the drug's chemical name when it passed the bill that outlawed it in 1986. Thus Burling could not be convicted of possessing the substance specified by the lawmakers. The correct spelling is methylenedioxymethamphetamine, not ) methylenedioxyethamphetamine as the law had it. Next time they ban a drug in Nebraska, they'd better consult a pharmacological dictionary.

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