Methylamine Benzylmagnesiumchloride d- or l-Methamphetamine

Figure Clandestine laboratory synthesis of methamphetamine.

vogue and was known then and is still referred to as "Ecstasy". The synthesis of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) follows the same synthetic protocols as the less complicated phenethylamines. The clandestine laboratory operator or research chemist selectively adds one N-methy group, an N,N-dimethyl group, an N-ethyl group, an N-propyl, an N-isopropyl group, and so on. In 1985 the N-hydroxy MDA derivative was reported.15 This

Synthesis EcstasySynthesis Ecstasy
Figure Clandestine laboratory synthesis of 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA).

was significant because here the modification involved the addition of a hydroxyl group as opposed to an alkyl substitution on the nitrogen. Clandestine laboratory synthesis of MDA and MDMA are shown in Figures and

The identification of the phenethylamines in the laboratory requires great care because of the chemical and molecular similarities of the exhibits. IR combined with MS and NMR

Clandestine Chemistry
Figure Clandestine laboratory synthesis of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA)

spectrometry provide the most specificity in the identifications of phenethylamines in the forensic science laboratory.15, 16 From a legal perspective, the laboratory identification of the phenethylamine is Part 1 in the forensic process. If prosecution is an option and the phenethylamine in question is not specified as a controlled substance under Public Law 91-51317 or Part 1308 of the Code of Federal Regulations, another legal option is available.

In 1986, the U.S. Congress realized that the legal system was at a standstill in attempting to prosecute clandestine laboratory operators involved in molecular modification of phenethylamines and other homologues and analogues of controlled substances. The attempted closing of this loophole was the passage of the Controlled Substances Analogue and Enforcement Act of 1986.18

1.4.10 methcathinone (cat)

Methcathinone is a structural analogue of methamphetamine and cathinone Figure and It is potent and it, along with the parent compound, are easily manufactured. They are sold in the U.S. under the name CAT. It is distributed as a white to off-white chunky powdered material and is sold in the hydrochloride salt form. Outside of the U.S., methcathinone is known as ephedrone and is a significant drug of abuse in Russia and some of the Baltic States.19

Methcathinone was permanently placed in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act in October 1993. Prior to its scheduling, two federal cases were effectly prosecuted in Ann Arbor and Marquette, Michigan, utilizing the analogue provision of the Controlled Substances Analogue and Enforcment Act of 1986.

1.4.11 catha edulis (khat)

Khat consists of the young leaves and tender shoots of the Catha Edulis plant that is chewed for its stimulant properties.20 Catha edulis, a species of the plant family Celastraceae, grows in eastern Africa and southern Arabia. Its effects are similar to the effects of amphetamine. The active ingredients in Khat are cathinone [(-)-a-aminopropiophenone] , a Schedule I controlled substance which is quite unstable, and cathine [(+)-norpseudoephedrine] a Schedule IV

Figure Clandestine laboratory synthesis of methcathinone.
Decomposition Amphetamine
Figure Clandestine laboratory synthesis of cathinone.

controlled substance. The identification of cathinone in the laboratory presents problems because of time and storage requirements to minimize degradation.21 Some of the decomposition or transformation products of Catha edulis are norpseudoephedrine, norephedrine, 3,6-dimethyl-2,5- diphenylpyrazine, and 1-phenyl-1,2-propanedione.22

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