2C-B-FLY is a psychoactive chemical in the phenylethlyamine family, which also contains MDMA. Just this morning, news broke that a bad batch of something purporting to be 2C-B-FLY has hit the streets and is killing or hospitalizing people with frightening consistency.
I say, “something purporting to be,” because people are being made sick with doses as low as 1-4 mg and being hospitalized with doses around 8-12 mg. A dealer who is reported to have taken an 18 mg dose died. It’s very unlikely that 2C-B-FLY would be active at all at 1-4 mg doses, so the powder in question is likely to be tainted, or something else entirely.
When things like this happen, law enforcement and the government usually jump to the message of how dangerous drugs are. I then respond that illegal drugs are made infinitely more dangerous by prohibition, which removes accountability between producers and consumers, and which forces producers to use less-than-ideal techniques to make the drugs. But this case is different. The “dealer” in this case was Haupt-rc, a legally-operating chemical supply company. These companies supply all sorts of chemicals, including illegal drugs, to research companies and others who are legally allowed to purchase them. The actual manufacturer of the chemical is reported to be a Chinese company. Below, you can see a 500 mg bag of the chemical in question, reported to have been purchased from Haupt-rc.
You can see that the label clearly prohibits “food, drug, household, or cosmetic use,” and notes “Dangerous if ingested!” That didn’t stop the owner of Haupt-rc from ingesting an 18 mg dose and subsequently dying, and it clearly didn’t stop some other people from ingesting the chemical either, so the most obvious conclusion we can draw from this experience is that people who are legally selling and buying psychoactive chemicals (for “research” uses) are illegally consuming those chemicals. I know, shocking, right? Hey, don’t tell me if you could legally buy a 500 mg bag of your favorite psychoactive chemical, you wouldn’t skim a few mg off the top for personal use. Oh, no, not YOU, you paragon of lawfulness.
The second, and more interesting conclusion is that here we have a case where the drug was produced in a totally above-board, legal, traceable manner, and people still managed to die from a bad batch. So, even the “professionals” get it wrong some time. But look at the difference between the response to this experience and the mostly-nonexistent response to another common tainted drug, cocaine cut with levamisol. In this case, people know the supplier and can quarantine the bad product, even down to the batch number, which is printed on the bag. Because they purchased it legally, they can send the stuff to a lab for analysis without fear of arrest. If this was a street product, all you would hear, if you heard anything, was, “Hey, watch out for 2C-B-FLY, I heard some people got sick after taking it and there might be a bad batch.” Instead, we get a massive, organized, immediate, and above-all, effective response that mitigates harm.
Edit: Analysis of the substance indicates that it was actually bromo-dragonfly, a chemical that is similar to 2C-B-FLY, but is active at much lower doses, hence the deaths at doses that are typical for 2C-B-FLY. The powder was also found to be only 95% pure (labeled as 99% pure, but we all know vendors fudge, right?) with about 5% synthesis impurities, which could have unknown effects. Additionally, the Chinese lab seems not to have been as “up to professional standards” as one might desire. The semi-clandestine nature of the Chinese lab means that prohibition still plays a role here, since there would be more, higher-quality sources for drugs in the absence of prohibition. What we have here is people using semi-legal means to acquire a prohibited chemical, but since the chemical is widely prohibited, there are few producers, and even the semi-legal ones are sketchy.
Jack Booted Liberal