Australia Gives Harsher Punishment for Pills Than Powdered MDMA

Lucy Cormack, writing for The Sydney Morning Herald:

A person can carry three times as much MDMA into a music festival and still be eligible for a $400 on-the-spot fine, in lieu of facing a court, if the drugs are carried in a form other than a capsule, in what legal experts have called a "double standard".

The rule, which falls under a trial policy introduced almost one month ago, comes after the death of two young people at a music festival last year and a recommendation from an expert government-commissioned panel. […]

According to the Criminal Procedure Regulation, a $400 penalty notice may be issued to a person carrying MDMA (3,4-Methylenedioxymethylamphetamine) "in capsule form, [if it] does not exceed a small quantity," defined as 0.25 grams.

In any other form, such as a powder in a zip-lock bag, the instant fine can apply so long as it is less than a trafficable quantity, which is 0.75 grams.

It’s crack cocaine versus powdered cocaine sentencing disparities all over again, but this time it’s MDMA.