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  1. Terrapinzflyer
    Chinese Drug Makers Skirt Mephedrone Ban
    Two months after Britain banned the party drug mephedrone, Sky News has learnt factories in China are making a host of new drugs to skirt UK laws.

    Before mephedrone was scheduled as a Class B drug in April, it was openly sold online by dealers who offered express home delivery.
    In internet chat rooms, users praised its effects which they described as similar to the drug ecstasy.

    But now the same Chinese companies that used to manufacture mephedrone have come up with a raft of new chemical compounds that are not covered by British law.

    Filming secretly and posing as customers, a Sky News crew visited the offices of Chemchallenger Biotech in Shanghai. They were given a free sample of a new "legal high" said to mirror the effects of mephedrone.
    "Our British clients really like this one" said the company's director, Jacky Wu. He then offered to sell the crew up to 100kg of the drug, and said it could be sent to the UK by courier.

    View attachment 15096 Mr Wu said his company "only operates within the law". But to avoid hold-ups at British customs he said he would mislabel the drug as a more commonly known chemical.

    His operation is on an industrial scale. During a tour of his factory, Mr Wu showed off a rabbit warren of labs where workers toiled in white coats over vats of colourful substances.

    He claimed one of them was a new form of chemical cannabis that would also be legal if sold on the street in Britain.

    Before the ban on mephedrone, some experts warned it would be useless in the face of Chinese chemical companies who would simply come up with alternative drugs.

    Mr Wu confirmed this, saying "there are thousands of these substances. There are new ones coming out all the time."

    View attachment 15097 Though he graduated in chemistry from a prestigious Chinese university, Mr Wu was less forthcoming on the effects of his new compounds. "That's still being tested," he said. "We just make them."

    Dozens of Chinese companies are in the same line of business. A representative from another laboratory told Sky News he had a distributor in London who supplied smaller dealers. He also openly admitted that the new generation of "legal highs" is dangerous.

    "I was the first one to sell this on the market. But now many people don't like it," he said. "It's not good. It's too strong. Send you to hospital. Make you feel very ill."

    The problem, say scientists, is that nobody knows what effect the new chemical drugs have on the body and the brain. One early forerunner to the current crop of synthetic drugs - a substance known as MPTP - caused dozens of people to develop irreversible symptoms identical to Parkinson's Disease.

    ***We are planning to introduce a system of temporary bans for new emerging 'legal highs'. Temporary bans will allow us to make substances illegal while we seek full scientific advice.
    Home Office statement***


    Under similar legislation in Germany and the US, drugs can be banned on the presumption that they are dangerous rather than waiting for the results of a lengthy investigation.

    In response to the Sky News investigation the Home Office announced it would be closing down the loophole on the new legal drugs that were emerging on the market.

    A Home Office spokesman said: "We are planning to introduce a system of temporary bans for new emerging 'legal highs'. Temporary bans will allow us to make substances illegal while we seek full scientific advice."

    Speaking on Sky News the former government chief drugs adviser Professor David Nutt said that banning the drugs would never work.

    He suggested a controlled use of the substances was more effective, saying: "some regulated access, along the coffee shop model for cannabis in the Netherlands I think will have to come."

    Mephedrone hit the headlines in March after the drug was linked to the deaths of two teenagers in Scunthorpe.

    However, post mortems revealed no trace of the chemical in the blood of Louis Wainwright, 18, and Nicholas Smith, 19.

    The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) recommended a ban in March but the decision was criticised for being politically rather than scientifically driven.

    Some drug campaigners believe that education on the risks of so-called legal highs would be a more effective way of combating the new generation of drugs.

    12:16pm UK, Wednesday June 09, 2010
    Holly Williams, China correspondent
    http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/Wo...n_With_New_Chemical_Compounds_That_Mimic_Drug


    there are a couple of videos imbedded in the news story linked above

Comments

  1. salviablue
    But governments won't listen to reason whilst there are newspapers and other media to be sold, 'detailing' the plights of parents and ministers to get "the evil of drugs off our streets", votes and political support to be gained by spreading lies and misinformation and for ever increasing budgets to be had "fighting this evil menace".......
    Although its a start that at least some newspapers and other media publications are beginning to at least mention the advice of experts, detailing more sane and tenable alternatives.....
  2. Lish_Bomb
    The fact of the matter is, is that prohibition of any of these drugs actually diminishes ANY control that the state may have had, and freely hands it over to the hands of dealers.. it's madness.

    The government will never be able to control a drug by prohibiting it, rather than by regulating its trading and use, as it is impossible to control what you don't regulate. The government should control the quality of drugs; this will remove a number of health concerns, reduce drug crime, and take the MASSIVE amounts of money away from the dealers, for use by the government to educate the people on the risks and approaches to using and addiction ~ not to mention the money that could be put back into health services, schools, transport etc etc..

    These drugs are just going to keep appearing and reappearing, so legalise the ones we know to be safe(er) and regulate and tax.the end.

    Phew! :crazy
  3. Lish_Bomb
    * Professor Nutt is a legend. Why did the man lose his power? Because his knowledge rocked our worlds ~ and we can't be having that ...
    :applause:
  4. Jasim
    The comment on MPTP is ridiculous propaganda. That was a completely different situation and was never widespread. MPTP was an accidental contaminate in an underground synthesis of MPPP in the 1970's. Nor is there any relationship between these chemicals and MPTP.
  5. davestate
    There could be a similar situation. There are plenty of reducing and oxidising agents that are commonly used that could be very toxic if not removed. Chinese labs aren't exactly going to use the safest reagent, they're going to use the cheapest, quickest, simplest method.

    Can you really say that toxic reagents, metabolites or intermediates will never pose a threat? Bioaccumulative toxins, heavy metals, acids, contamination. There is plenty that can go unexpectedly wrong, even in a relativly well stocked lab.

    Don't believe the 99.9% pure BS printed on the packet
  6. imyourlittlebare
    The MPTP neurotoxin was a horrible horrible creation and it occured accidently. All of a sudden, we had a toxin able to induce parkinsons like symptoms in rats. These novel highs are relatively new, created for a market in which supply/demand trump safety, and there is no research on whether mixing chemical a with alcohol/chemical b could create a dangerous combo! SWIM wants ppl to have options and legal highs. But the SWIYs of the world should demand basic research on these new chemicals to, at the very least, prevent the long term consumption of a chemical which may significantly increase ones chances of getting certain neurodegenerative diseases, strokes, etc.
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