Punters are paying up to $500 a gram to be assured of a quality product. Some say the boom is caused by a shortage of ecstasy after disruptions to the international supply of precursor materials. This is a perfect example of the 'balloon effect' -- squeeze the balloon in one place and it swells in another, making prohibition a rather pointless exercise. This is especially so as restricting a relatively safe, non-addictive drug like ecstasy-MDMA pushes people to more dangerous drugs including cocaine which is addictive.
My contacts in clubland tell me the only pills they have been able to get are blue ones that keep people up all night and leave them with shaking hands the next day. They say these are definitely not MDMA although they are often sold as ecstasy, illustrating how prohibition itself makes drugs more dangerous.
A NSW Police spokesman said increased cocaine and ecstasy arrests were a result of a higher number of general arrests.
"In the 12 months to June this year, police conducted 187,000 searches of individuals … which yielded 15,000 items, including illicit drugs,'' he said.