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Mephedrone Banned On Friday 16th April

By John Clarke

Following the ACMD’s report on the cathinone derivatives (Part I & Part II), here is the latest amendment to the Misuse of Drugs Act to control them:

Dangerous Drugs, England And Wales
Dangerous Drugs, Scotland
The Misuse of Drugs (Amendment) (England, Wales and Scotland) Regulations 2010

Made
31st March 2010

Laid before Parliament
1st April 2010

Coming into force
16th April 2010

The Secretary of State makes the following Regulations in exercise of the powers conferred by sections 7, 10, 22 and 31 of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971(1).

In accordance with section 31(3) of that Act the Secretary of State has consulted with the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs.
Citation, commencement, interpretation and extent

1.—(1) These Regulations may be cited as the Misuse of Drugs (Amendment) (England, Wales and Scotland) Regulations 2010 and shall come into force on 16th April 2010.

(2) In these Regulations “the 2001 Regulations” means the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001(2).

(3) These Regulations extend to England, Wales and Scotland.
Amendment to the 2001 Regulations

2. The 2001 Regulations shall be amended as follows.

3. In Schedule 1 (which specifies controlled drugs subject to the requirements of regulations 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 23, 26 and 27)—

(a) in paragraph 1(a), after “methcathinone”, insert—

“4–methylmethcathinone”;

(b) after paragraph 1(l), insert—

“(m) Any compound (not being bupropion, diethylpropion, pyrovalerone or a compound for the time being specified in sub–paragraph (a) above) structurally derived from 2–amino–1–phenyl–1–propanone by modification in any of the following ways, that is to say—

(i) by substitution in the phenyl ring to any extent with alkyl, alkoxy, alkylenedioxy, haloalkyl or halide substituents, whether or not further substituted in the phenyl ring by one or more other univalent substituents;

(ii) by substitution at the 3–position with an alkyl substituent;

(iii) by substitution at the nitrogen atom with alkyl or dialkyl groups, or by inclusion of the nitrogen atom in a cyclic structure.”.

David Hanson
Minister of State
Home Office
31st March 2010

Let’s take a look at this and try and make some sense of it shall we?

(a) in paragraph 1(a), after “methcathinone”, insert—

“4–methylmethcathinone”;

First off, mephedrone (4-methylmethcathinone) is explicitly mentioned to appear after methcathinone, which is already class B. I suppose we knew that much was going to happen already, so onto the more complicated stuff…

(b) after paragraph 1(l), insert—

“(m) Any compound (not being bupropion, diethylpropion, pyrovalerone or a compound for the time being specified in sub–paragraph (a) above) structurally derived from 2–amino–1–phenyl–1–propanone by modification in any of the following ways, that is to say—

This means that any cathinone derivative described by any of the following paragraphs will also become class B. Like the cannabinoids banned last December, this ban doesn’t list a tonne of individual substances, but instead covers a wide range of actual and theoretical substances by detailing possible alterations to the original cathinone structure. Here they are:

(i) by substitution in the phenyl ring to any extent with alkyl, alkoxy, alkylenedioxy, haloalkyl or halide substituents, whether or not further substituted in the phenyl ring by one or more other univalent substituents;

This first part covers modifications of the phenyl ring, or “round bit” of the cathinone structure (R4). Unfortunately, this covers a massive range of compounds, including Mephedrone (alkyl), Methedrone (alkoxy), Methylone, Ethylone, Butylone & MDPV (all alkylenedioxy) and flephedrone (halide; also includes the 3-F isomer) .

(ii) by substitution at the 3–position with an alkyl substituent;

This covers the addition of a carbon side chain of any length on the carbon atom just before the nitrogen atom (usually referred to as the alpha carbon).  All the compounds listed in Annex A,  Appendix 1 of the ACMD’s report include a chain of at least one carbon long (alpha methylation), but by not specifying the length of this “alkyl substitute”, this also covers  existing compounds with longer alpha side chains such as pentylone and MDPV as well as any potentially interesting theoretical compounds.

(iii) by substitution at the nitrogen atom with alkyl or dialkyl groups, or by inclusion of the nitrogen atom in a cyclic structure.”

The final nitrogen atom present in cathinone has two available places to add stuff. One or both of these could be a carbon chain (alkyl or dialkyl), or a single carbon chain could form a ring by starting and ending at this nitrogen atom (the “cyclic structure”), which is what this part covers. Examples include ethcathinone (alkyl – a single carbon chain), n,n-dimethylcathinone (dialkyl – two carbon chains) and MDPV (includes the cyclic pyrrolidinyl structure).

I know that’s still quite technical, but hopefully what I’ve written is a little clearer than the original text. Feel free to ask questions in the comments though!

The gist is, all the popular cathinone derivatives mentioned by name above will become class B on Friday 16th, as well as a great deal of the more esoteric ones. One compound not included in this ban is naphyrone, currently marketed as Energy-1 or NRG-1. Unfortunately, I hear it’s rather shit and also not particularly safe, but the ACMD are already looking into banning that for next time. That’s pretty much it for cathinones in the UK then. I feel like we should all go out and get commemorative T-shirts or something… 🙁

On a more serious note, for those previously law abiding citizens who have developed a psychological addiction to mephedrone, you have two choices: continue buying lower quality stuff at an inflated price from a regular drug dealer or find some help. Luckily, Drug-Forum.com has a great Recovery and Addiction section that you should definitely check out.  You’re also welcome to post your stories and progress in the comments under this post..

6 Responses to Mephedrone Banned On Friday 16th April

  1. j03 says:

    Fok. *ahem*.

  2. rex mundi says:

    so mdma which is undoubtedly less harmful is class a yet this is class b…the government stays failing

    furthermore, the amount of people who have been stockpiling this is ridiculous; they’ve just put the power back in the hands of organised crime

  3. Steve Rolles says:

    Naphyrone is specifically mentioned in the report under the generic ban recommendation so i assumed it was covered. …?

  4. Synchronium says:

    Hi Steve,

    This is from Annex A of the report (the paragraph before Fig. 2):

    In addition to compounds with the generalised structure in (Figure 1, Annex A) the phenyl ring can be replaced with a naphthyl ring (e.g. Figure 2, Annex A) or with a thiophene ring. The naphthyl analogue of pyrovalerone (Figure 2, Annex A) is available on the Internet and is being retailed as “NRG-1”. These compounds cannot easily be included in a generic definition for the cathinone derivatives having the generalised structure in Figure 1, Annex A, but they could be controlled as named substances or by one or more separate generic definitions. The ACMD intend to review these substances and provide further advice at a later date.

    That, and the fact that previous cathinone vendors are now selling it alongside MDAI and dimethocaine would suggest it’s still legal.

    This also means that cathinone’s theoretical naphthyl analog is also legal, however efficacious that may be.

  5. Tim says:

    Oh well. When alkaloids are outlawed, only outlaws will have alkaloids. Whoops… that’s not gonna work out, since every creature (us included) with pineal glands produces it naturally in the brain — and for a VERY GOOD REASON, one can imagine.

    Duh.

    Gaia, ONE. Gov’t: ZERO.

  6. Perpetua says:

    Hi,

    More legislation! The real message I would like to everyone is to use your “tipple” wisely. Dont bathe in the goddam stuff and don’t boast your experiences with high doses Be discrete. Many western goverments (US aside) are enlightened enough to allow discrete purchase and sale.

    Due to idiots who like to push the envolope MDPV aka desoxypipradol is no longer available legally in the UK. This was the only drug that helped my (double diagnosed) adult ADD. I live in the UK where they do not treat adult ADD. What dou I do now? Start my own Research Chemical outfit that only deals with sensible discrete customers.

    There are a lot of out of work capable chemists out there, US and EU, dodging the laws are a piece of piss. We do however, generally, not like to deal with molecules that have had no human exposure. MDPV was the deoxy metabolite of pipradol, a mild stimulant used …. even before my time. That is the type of molecule I like to see on offer to the public

    Keep it safe and discrete.

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