Ecstasy history starts with MDMA (the original name of ecstasy) being patented in 1913 (patent #274.350) by the German chemical company Merck. At that time it was supposed to be sold as a diet pill. However, the patent does not mention any intended use. The company decided against marketing the drug and had nothing more to do with it. Later in ecstasy history, the US army experimented with MDMA in 1953, possibly as truth serum but they have not revealed their reasons.
When it comes to ecstasy history, the man responsible for the modern research of MDMA is Alexander Shulgin. After he graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a Ph.D. in biochemistry he landed a job as a research chemist with Dow Chemicals. Among his many achievements for Dow Chemical was a profitable insecticide and several controversial patents for what were to become popular street drugs. Dow was happy with the insecticide but Shulgin's other projects created a parting of the way between the biochemist and the chemical company. An important not in ecstasy history is that Alexander Shulgin was the first reported human to use MDMA.
Shulgin continued his legal research of new compounds after leaving Dow, specializing in the phenethylamines family of drugs. MDMA is but one of 179 psychoactive drugs which he described in detail, but it is the one which he felt came closest to fulfilling his ambition of finding the perfect therapeutic drug.
Ecstasy history shows that because MDMA was already been patented in 1913, it held no profit potential for a drug company. This is because a drug cannot be patented twice and before marketing a new drug, a company has to show that the potential side effects are justified by the drug's benefits as a medicine, and this involves long and expensive trials. The only way of recouping that expense is by obtaining exclusive rights to sell the drug through holding its patent. At that time in ecstasy history only a few experimental therapists researched and tested the drug (between 1977 to 1985) for use during psychotherapy sessions.
Ecstasy history in 1985 notes that the drug received massive media attention when a group of people sued the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to try to prevent them from outlawing the drug by placing it on the list of Schedule 1 drugs. The US Congress had passed a new law allowing the DEA to put an emergency ban on any drug that it thought might be a danger to the public. On July 1st 1985, this right was used for the first time to ban MDMA.
A hearing was held to decide what permanent measures should be taken against the drug. One side argued that MDMA caused brain damage in rats, the other side claimed this might not be true for humans and that there was proof of the beneficial use of MDMA as a drug treatment in psychotherapy. The presiding judge after weighing the evidence, recommended that MDMA be placed on Schedule 3, which would have allowed it to be manufactured, used on prescription, and subject to further research. However, ecstasy history shows that the DEA decided to place MDMA permanently on the Schedule 1 list of drugs that have not therapeutic benefit.