The environmental impacts of MDMA production warrant consideration

Currently, one tropical plant is being decimated to produce the illicit drug MDMA.

It is estimated that 100-125 metric tons of MDMA are consumed each year. This is the equivalent of over 1 billion doses … [and it’s production] is threatening a rare Cambodian tree and the wildlife refuge in which it is found … In order to produce a barrel of safrole, four … trees are killed. In addition, each tree harvested requires six more trees to be felled for firewood to power the extraction … These practices also affect the indigenous residents … Land mines are even used to deter unwanted attention [by loggers and producers] … This story raises an important question. Who is benefiting from the prohibition of these drugs? Natural resources and disadvantaged people are exploited. Extreme violence is used to protect profit. Governments spend massive amounts of money attempting to fight these organizations. Street drugs are more dangerous. Treatment is less accessible to those in need. Kingpins, human traffickers, poachers, and other criminals profit, while violent criminal organizations are the actual winners in the war on drugs.

Original Article (Earth):
The environmental impacts of MDMA production warrant consideration
Artwork Fair Use: Rodney Evans/AusAID