Weapons-grade Ecstasy?

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Timothy Leary might've approved: South African military officers ordered scientists in the country's secret chemical warfare program to manufacture 2,000 pounds of the designer drug Ecstasy, a scientist told the country's Truth Commission today. Dr. Johan Koekemoer said he was told the drug would be used to incapacitate enemies of the apartheid regime. Even amid tales of government laboratories' producing poison-filled umbrellas and conducting bizarre experiments on the sperm count of baboons, the suggestion that apartheid's secret weapon was a party drug was hard to take seriously, according to TIME South Africa bureau chief Peter Hawthorne. "This was clearly a bit of freelance work by people using secret military resources to build a profitable business," says Hawthorne. In other words, turning illegal swords into illegal plowshares.