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Third-generation cannabinoids will be class B drugs from 14th December
#1
The UK government have now amended the Misuse of Drugs Act (The Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 (Amendment) Order 2016) to schedule essentially all the remaining synthetic cannabinoids that were previously unscheduled. This was published yesterday 16th November and comes into force 28 days later, on the 14th December. All these substances are likely covered under the Psychoactive Substances Act, so the main effect of this legislation is to criminalise possession of these substances.

The definition in the law is somewhat complicated (and extremely broad):

Quote:(ca) any compound (not being clonitazene, etonitazene, acemetacin, atorvastatin, bazedoxifene, indometacin, losartan, olmesartan, proglumetacin, telmisartan, viminol, zafirlukast or a compound for the time being specified in sub-paragraph © above) structurally related to 1-pentyl-3-(1-naphthoyl)ind ole (JWH-018), in that the four sub-structures, that is to say the indole ring, the pentyl substituent, the methanone linking group and the naphthyl ring, are linked together in a similar manner, whether or not any of the sub-structures have been modified, and whether or not substituted in any of the linked sub-structures with one or more univalent substituents and, where any of the sub-structures have been modified, the modifications of the sub-structures are limited to any of the following, that is to say—

(i) replacement of the indole ring with indane, indene, indazole, pyrrole, pyrazole, imidazole, benzimidazole, pyrrolo[2,3-b]pyridine, pyrrolo[3,2-c]pyridine or pyrazolo[3,4-b]pyridine;

(ii) replacement of the pentyl substituent with alkyl, alkenyl, benzyl, cycloalkylmethyl, cycloalkylethyl, (N-methylpiperidin-2-yl)methyl, 2-(4-morpholinyl)ethyl or (tetrahydropyran-4-yl)methyl

(iii) replacement of the methanone linking group with an ethanone, carboxamide, carboxylate, methylene bridge or methine group

(iv) replacement of the 1-naphthyl ring with 2-naphthyl, phenyl, benzyl, adamantyl, cycloalkyl, cycloalkylmethyl, cycloalkylethyl, bicyclo[2.2.1]heptanyl, 1,2,3,4-tetrahydronaphthyl, quinolinyl, isoquinolinyl, 1-amino-1-oxopropan-2-yl, 1-hydroxy-1-oxopropan-2-yl, piperidinyl, morpholinyl, pyrrolidinyl, tetrahydropyranyl or piperazinyl

As an example, 5F-AKB48 would be caught by this definition because its substituents are:

i) indazole
ii) 5-fluoropentyl (which is the pentyl chain of JWH-018 substituted with a univalent substituent)
iii) carboxamide
iv) adamantyl

MDMB-CHMICA:

i) indole (as with JWH-018)
ii) cycloalkyl
iii) carboxamide
iv) dimethylbutanoate, which is 1-hydroxy-1-oxopropan-2-yl substituted on the hydroxy with a methyl and substituted on the carbon next to the bridge with tert-butyl, which are both univalent substituents

etc.

The broadness of the definition can be seen from the number of non-cannabinoids that have to be exempted from the definition and will likely have unintended consequences. I know of at least a couple of cannabinoids that should fall outside of this definition. e.g. Cymyl-4CN-BINACA has a trivalent cyano substitutent on the pentyl chain. That's a fairly academic point however, since acquiring any cannabinoid is likely to involve an offence under the Psychoactive Substances Act.

The same amendment also classifies the anabolic steroid dienedione as a class C drug.
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#2
Was just wondering about this kind of thing earlier. It's probably for the best IMO. What class? Should really be Class A, IMO.

EDIT: Just realised I missed that in the title..
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#3
Well good to see their keeping there hand in post PSA; Class B for drugs which both sides of the debate seem to share some agreement are towards the most problematic. Given the massive advantages these drugs have to producers, smugglers and dealers I don’t know how much disincentive class A would have been but it would be more apt if the prohibitionist stance is considered effective.
"Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law"
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#4
(18-11-2016, 03:28 AM)Xochipilli Wrote: Well good to see their keeping there hand in post PSA; Class B for drugs which both sides of the debate seem to share some agreement are towards the most problematic. Given the massive advantages these drugs have to producers, smugglers and dealers I don’t know how much disincentive class A would have been but it would be more apt if the prohibitionist stance is considered effective.

I don't agree that they're among the most problematic. Looking at the number of deaths recorded in the latest year that we have statistics for (2015) and the prevalence of use, the raw death rate for synthetic cannabinoids among people 16-59 in England and Wales is only around 1 death per 20,000 users per year. Compare that to ecstasy which has around 1 death per 9000 users per year. These are for deaths where the substance in question is mentioned either alone or as a contributing factor with other substances. As a comparison, scuba diving kills about 1 in 6000 divers per year, while heroin's death rate is currently around 1 in 30.

Clearly synthetic cannabinoids are not harmless and they appear to have the potential for people to develop dependency with a nasty withdrawal syndrome. But the idea that they're particularly harmful in comparison to other drugs or recreational activities just doesn't hold up when you look at the facts. The impression given by newspapers and politicians provides a very distorted picture - key advertisers for the newspapers don't want their customers to choose other psychoactive substances instead of the alcoholic beverages they make their profits from (estimated annual death rate for the same age groups: 1 death per 11,500 drinkers).

So, no, even by the bizarre logic of the classification system of drugs in the UK, it makes no sense to schedule cannabinoids as class A. You'll note that the alcohol death rate for the same population is higher than for the synthetic cannabinoids - meaning that displacing a user from synthetic cannabinoids to alcohol will result in an overall increase in deaths. And in any case, prohibition doesn't work.
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#5
The sheer potency of them makes me feel they should really be class A.. they are stronger than many other class A drugs and can certainly cause more damage, both in the long and short term.. the withdrawals from regular use are also much worse than some demonised class A substances. Speaking from first hand experience of both mentioned.

They have certainly cause the most problems compared to other RCs since mephedrone.. even more than the benzos. People don't need to die to show this.. look at hospital admissions also.. and just people freaking right out or going trough savages WDs.


Death stats mean nothing really.. things can be a massive problem without death IMO. In fact worse as death cuts users off the chart/s.

Also cannabinoids (blends) have pretty much replaced brown/white in prisons across the country. Heroin is mild compared to some of these in raw format..
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#6
(18-11-2016, 10:33 AM)Tails Wrote: The sheer potency of them makes me feel they should really be class A.. they are stronger than many other class A drugs and can certainly cause more damage, both in the long and short term.. the withdrawals from regular use are also much worse than some demonised class A substances. Speaking from first hand experience of both mentioned.

They have certainly cause the most problems compared to other RCs since mephedrone.. even more than the benzos. People don't need to die to show this.. look at hospital admissions also.. and just people freaking right out or going trough savages WDs.


Death stats mean nothing really.. things can be a massive problem without death IMO. In fact worse as death cuts users off the chart/s.

Also cannabinoids (blends) have pretty much replaced brown/white in prisons across the country. Heroin is mild compared to some of these in raw format..

I can't look at hospital admissions. Why? Because there don't appear to be any statistics available. If you can find some, I'd actually love to look at them. There's stats available for admissions due to drug misuse, but not broken down by the substance responsible.

Mephedrone's a good example of why scheduling supposedly 'problematic' drugs is a bad idea. I'll use 'deaths' again, since it's the only thing I have actual numbers for and I think evidence is better than hearsay. Mephedrone's death rate was ~ 1 in 70,000 users in 2010, the year it was banned. Just five years later, it had increased to 1 in 2250. Drugs become more harmful under prohibition, not less. Mephedrone probably saved lives overall by being a safer alternative to (what were then) more harmful substances.

Your underlying assumption - that scheduling drugs against a classification with harsher penalties will have any effect - is also wrong: harsh penalties for drug users have no effect on levels of drug use. So a) why schedule these drugs at all when the overall outcome of doing so will be worse than doing nothing, b) if scheduling them anyway, why insist on harsher penalties when there's no reason to think this has any positive outcomes over scheduling them as a less restrictive schedule?
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#7
I agree that it does not help.. but if we have to have the class system it should be done properly and more realisticly..
..maybe decided by people who have more experience than the anti-drug types setting these classes.

We talked a lot in the chat about my views so I won't regurgitate it all here.

As for the hospital results I don't think any are available, I just know people who work in the hospital and know that it was mainly blends sending people to A&E in a huge panic or fitting. There might be some results somewhere but I wouldn't know how or where to find them.
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#8
I've been looking into this a bit more and reading the report from the ACMD where all this was proposed. In interpreting the intent of the law, it's likely that this would be referred to, making this perhaps the first law to have its own official FAQ.

Referring to the rules in the FAQ regarding where substituent groups can be attached (only on the five membered ring and not creating quaternary amine) and how the non-core structures can be attached (anywhere suballows you to work out how many different base structures are covered by this law. These base structures can then be modified in a potentially infinite number of ways by adding univalent substituents. It gets a bit more complicated when you consider whether you can have a double bond between the core and bridge structure and whether switching the tail and bridge groups counts as a different compound.

By my estimates (and considering only alkane/alkene chains and cycloalkanes up to 7 carbons, this bans around 1.9 million base structures, not including different stereoisomers, the vast majority of which have never been made and probably aren't even cannabinoid receptor ligands.

Banning ~2 million chemicals and their infinite derivatives could be seen as a bit of an overreaction, really.

Given that the ACMD can have considered only a handful of cannabinoids (I have a fairly comprehensive spreadsheet which compiles the details of about 122 cannabinoids of this general structure), they have recommended this action based on assessing the harms of at most 0.006% of the base structures that will now be added to the list of prohibited substances.

(If anyone from the ACMD happens to be reading this - and since at least one of your members has published research on cannabinoids that, without informing me or seeking consent, used posts that I have made here, I'm pretty sure you will be - maybe you should consider whether you really want to be associated with an organisation that appears to have gone stark, staring insane?)
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#9
I assume that this means that those who thought that legally stocking up pre PSA cannabinoids for non consumption , are now liable to possession ?
What's to stop the Gov from moving to other "pre PSA purchased" RCs , via the MODA analogue method ?
A pretty concerning and deceptive development , imv.
Although I agree on the danger of rc cannabinoids , I can't help but see a case of moving the goal posts.
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#10
(19-11-2016, 01:45 AM)pills n thrills Wrote: I assume that this means that those who thought that legally stocking up pre PSA cannabinoids for non consumption , are now liable to possession ?
What's to stop the Gov from moving to other "pre PSA purchased" RCs , via the MODA analogue method ?
A pretty concerning and deceptive development , imv.
Although I agree on the danger of rc cannabinoids , I can't help but see a case of moving the goal posts.

Yes, from 14th December, possession of any of the pre-PSA cannabinoids will become an offence under the Misuse of Drugs Act.

Nothing stops the government from scheduling any other drugs, although they would have to consult the ACMD first (although the ACMD's advice is advisory and, as has happened many times before, can be ignored). It's worth pointing out here that this ban on cannabinoids has been in the works since November 2014, when the ACMD's initial advice was provided to the government, so it's not something that the government decided to do after passing the PSA - it predates it.

The government were quite clear that they don't view the PSA as a replacement for the MoDA and intend the two systems of control to work in parallel, with drugs that are of particular concern continuing to be considered for inclusion under the MoDA.

So the goal posts haven't actually been moved - this government's drug policies have always been insane, authoritarian and nonsensical.
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