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April 2004
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TV Alert: Primetime Thursday: Peter Jennings Reporting: Ecstasy Rising

A picture named ecstasyjennings.jpg
Tonight, Thursday, April 1, 2004 at 10 pm Eastern, 9 pm Central.

“Government is best when government is most honest, especially for the younger generation, which is more susceptible to trying drugs,” says ABC’s “World News Tonight” veteran anchor. “If ( young people ) can’t rely on the government for good and honest information, then government has lost something enormously valuable, which is people’s belief in the government’s credibility.” …

“This was an opportunity for us to look at whether or not the government isn’t its own worst enemy in trying to control illegal drugs,” Jennings says.

And is it?

“Yes,” Jennings replies. “I believe a lot of people in government understood the science ( about Ecstasy’s negative side effects ) was not good. But not until real attention was drawn to it did they take down their Web site on Ecstasy.” …

Jennings admits working on the special was educational for him.

“I had no idea Ecstasy was as old as it is,” he says. “I had no idea that it had been introduced in California through psychotherapy, and I had no idea how effective it seemed to have been for some psychotherapists. I remember one psychologist telling us that one session with a patient on Ecstasy was equal to four years ( of treatment ) with a similar patient.”

Although practically everyone has heard of Ecstasy, which was made illegal in 1985, most people aren’t familiar with the drug’s origins. “Ecstasy Rising” serves as a fascinating history lesson.

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