Researchers in Vancouver have waited years to proceed on clinical trials to test the effectiveness of MDMA (methylenedioxymethamphetamine, also known as ecstasy). The researchers had to make sure that the material they were using in their study was pure and legal.

Current studies are currently being undertaken in the US and Europe by the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, a non-profit which aims to study Ecstasy treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

The study will examine the treatment of 12 soldiers, police officers and sexual assault victims suffering from chronic post-traumatic stress disorder.

The reason that many hope the drug MDMA will help those suffering from PTSD is that it can induce feelings of closeness, openness and help people form bonds of trust and security.

Dr. Andrew Feldmar, a Vancouver area psychologist who help run the study, spoke with CBC News Network's Power & Politics about how the drug is stigmatized because it is associated with being a party drug and has been linked to a few deaths in rave-like locations. He insisted that using the drug for recreational use and for medical purposes were incomparable.

"The very same substance can be poison or medicine, depending on the dosage, depending on the circumstances in which it is ingested," he said.

More than 40 people have signed up for the study and those enrolled will be monitored for eight hours after taking the substance to evaluate progress.