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Drug dealers casting Harry Potter spell

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CANBERRA — Drug dealers are using Harry Potter to try to cast a spell over young Australian party goers with a new ecstasy drug doing the rounds named after the popular fictional schoolboy wizard.

The Australian Medical Association said an Internet chat site www.pillreport.com about drug use indicated Harry Potter tablets containing the amphetamine MDMA, also known as ecstasy, were now on sale in Australia.

Several reports submitted to the site from the Melbourne area in the state of Victoria advised of the effects of the large, round tablets that picture a witch flying over a moon.

Association spokesman Dr. John Gullotta condemned illegal drug distributors for trying to target a young market by exploiting Harry Potter, the bespectacled boy-wizard-in-training created by British author J.K. Rowling and now star of a blockbuster film.

"We don't condone the use of illicit drugs at all but when they are combined with cartoon characters or other popular figures it's a disgrace and a very low act," Gullotta said Thursday.

"We previously saw a similar thing with LSD blotting paper with Superman characters circulating schools and used to attract a young market."