MDMA, better known as Ecstasy, was first patented by the German drug company Merck in 1913. The drug was banned in the United States in 1985. Prior to the ban, Ecstasy was openly and legally for sale in certain Texas bars.

MDMA is a synthetic drug that combines the properties of a stimulant and a mild hallucinogen. It is a popular “club drug,” in part because it increases feelings of empathy and euphoria while reducing inhibitions, allowing users to experience a strong sense of connection to other people.

Most MDMA sold in the United States is manufactured in Belgium and the Netherlands. It is usually sold in tablet form and is ingested orally. MDMA has no recognized medical use and is therefore listed as a Schedule I controlled substance.

MDMA Penalties

A federal sentence for distributing (or possessing with intent to distribute) MDMA, or for conspiracy to distribute MDMA, depends upon whether the defendant has a prior drug conviction under state or federal law and whether a serious injury or death resulted from use of the distributed drug. If serious injury or death results from the distribution of MDMA, a mandatory minimum penalty applies.

  • No injury
    • First offense: Maximum sentence of 20 years.
    • Second or subsequent offense: Maximum sentence of 30 years.
  • Serious injury or death:
    • First offense:  Minimum sentence of 20 years, maximum of life.
    • Second or subsequent offense:  Minimum sentence of life.

The maximum penalties described above may increase substantially and different mandatory minimum penalties may apply if:

  • The drug was distributed to a person under the age of 21;
  • The drug was distributed to a pregnant woman;
  • Minors were employed to assist in the commission of the offense; or
  • Distribution occurred near a protected area.

In addition to a potential prison sentence, fines and costs can be imposed, as well as a term of supervised release.

Penalties For MDMA Simple Possession

Simple possession is the term used to describe possession of a drug for personal use, not with the intent to distribute the drug to others. The range of sentences available for simple possession of MDMA depends upon whether the defendant has a prior conviction for a drug offense under state or federal law.

  • First offense:  Maximum sentence of one year.
  • Second offense:  Minimum sentence of 15 days, maximum of two years.
  • Third or subsequent offense:  Minimum sentence of 90 days, maximum of three years.

How a Lubbock Lawyer Can Help

If you are being prosecuted in federal court for the possession or distribution of Ecstasy or for a conspiracy to distribute Ecstasy, you need an experienced Lubbock drug attorney to help you fight the charge. Contact the federal criminal defense attorneys at Hamilton Grant today.