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  1. chillinwill
    Cambodia is cracking down on a raw ingredient for the club-drug ecstasy by wiping out stocks of an oil made from the roots of a rare rainforest tree, an official said on Thursday.

    Cambodian authorities, with help from Australian police, will destroy 14 tonnes of sassafras, an ingredient for cosmetics but also a precursor chemical to make methylenedioxymethamphetamine, more commonly known "MDMA" or the party drug ecstasy.

    The amount represents all known stocks of sassafras oil in Cambodia and will be the second-largest volume destroyed since the authorities made the oil illegal in 2007, said Cambodia Police Major General Meas Vyrith.

    "It is dangerous," Meas Vyrith told Reuters. "It would make people become victims of the drug."

    The crackdown is also aimed at preserving a rare tree found deep in Cambodia's jungles. The roots and trunk of the M'rea Prov Phnom tree provide the source of the oil. Illegal logging is threatening the tree with extinction.

    "Without the right measures, they would all be destroyed," said Meas Vyrith, who is also a deputy secretary-general of Cambodia's anti-drug committee.

    The oil will be destroyed on Friday in Battambang province, about 300 km (186 miles) northwest of the Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh, using an Australian Federal Police technique aimed at minimising smoke and environmental damage, Meas Vyrith said.

    Cambodia destroyed 35 tonnes of the oil in 2007.

    By Prak Chan Thul
    January 27, 2010
    Reuters
    http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/SGE60Q05U.htm

Comments

  1. Greenport
    Well, swiM is saddened by the destruction of the oil itself, but does agree that we should not be endangering any wildlife in the production of this drug. Piperonal can be had without use of sassafras oil and works efficiently as a means of MD(M)A production. Safrole can be synthesized by reacting catechol with an allyl halide followed by base-catalyzed claisen-rearrangement - this will yield both 3-allylcatechol and 4-allylcatechol, which will have to be separated from each other. 4-allylcatechol can then be subjected to a dihalomethane to form the methylenedioxy bridge - creating safrole. Nothing new here, 's all right here.

    What swiM is trying to say here is that swiM's not against the manufacture of mdma, but is against destroying the environment to do so. The procedures leading to our consumables shouldn't be destroying the environment in the process, and that is what humanity has been focusing on for the past couple decades anyways so we should continue that struggle with mdma along with any other drugs known to negatively affect the environment.
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