Drugs unlimited: how I created my very own legal high ? I just spent the last two months doing exactly that . These drugs imitate the effects of cocaine, amphetamines, MDMA and cannabis. They are popular, legal to take and supply, and their use is growing. Barely a week goes by without a press or TV report of a death, or major psychological consequences, as a result of using them.
These reports often claim that it is a trivial task to take a banned drug and, with a little molecular trickery, get a Chinese lab to produce a new, legal version. Most stories about legal and illegal drugs in the mass media are at best hysterical and inaccurate, and at worst simply untrue, so I decided to put this particular claim to the test. The market in legal highs is growing. In 2. 00. 9, the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction's early warning system discovered 2. In 2. 01. 0, it found another 4.
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By October 2. 01. Or rather, make that 2. Matter, I just devised a new, legal drug, had it synthesised in China, and delivered to a PO Box in central London. It is a close chemical cousin of a substance that was well- loved by some of the world's most famous musicians, and, it's rumoured, by John F Kennedy, Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, and Truman Capote . There's also a sample at Cardiff University, where Andrew Westwell, a brilliant chemist at the WEDINOS project, a Welsh government- funded initiative that tracks and identifies new drugs. He has analysed it and proved its authenticity and guessed at its likely effects if taken: a stimulant. All it took me was a few dozen phone calls to Shanghai, a gmail account, a bank transfer, a PO Box set up in a false name, a few emails to contacts on web forums that gave me the synthesis and the modification and the name of a friendly laboratory, and a bit of reading.
Job done. In its latest World Drug Report, the United Nations acknowledges (pdf): . They were written when the Beatles were still performing, in an age when the internet did not exist. As Australian medic David Caldicott told me, . The Conservative/Lib Dem coalition introduced Temporary Class Drug Orders (TCDO) in November 2.
Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) has pondered their harms. This law has done nothing to slow down chemical innovation.
Since the NBOME- series of hallucinogenic drugs was banned this summer under a TCDO, a new family of equipotent hallucinogens . When 6- APB, an ecstasy- like drug was banned, 5- EAPB came to market.
For every synthetic cannabinoid the authorities have banned, a half- dozen more have popped up, all of which are less understood by doctors than cannabis. There is simply no let- up. In the time it took to write my last story about legal highs, five new drugs came on the market.
Get High Without Drugs shows how anyone can use easy non-drug legal ways highs that are equal to or better than those achieved by chemical means. A Nottinghamshire dad who nearly lost his son because of legal highs has told Capital they're as easy to get hold of as bag of sweets or a pint of milk. David, who's name and voice we've changed, says his son was just 15 when. This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page. Legal intoxicants, also known as legal drugs or, more commonly, as legal highs. 10 of the Top Travel Destinations to Get High. We carry only the best herbal vaporizer, including pocket vapes, Easy Vape, Volcano.
Each of them will be banned, as will the legal high that I have just commissioned. A new modification will fill the gap within days. It is not an especially simple or trivial matter to untangle the UK's drug laws and find a drug that can be sold legally, but it can be done with a little effort, as my investigation showed. It can, however, be a hugely profitable affair. Who cares about the consequences for users' health?
Certainly not the vendors of these drugs, who dodge the law by saying they are not for human consumption. The real issue is this: we are confusing cause and effect.
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The reason so many new drugs are appearing is precisely because we keep banning them. That approach worked in the 1. But in the internet era, it is impossible to control this market. More laws equals more drugs.
If I, a journalist who until recently knew nothing of chemistry, can commission a new drug in a matter of weeks, so can many more people. And they will. Policymakers' prime concern should not be which drugs are legal or illegal, but which are the most harmful. Their next problem is how to regulate the market in psychoactive chemicals.
That will be more complicated than anyone.