Sciencemadness Discussion Board

Society of Texan Amateur Chemists

Cou - 11-11-2015 at 17:54

Anyone here from Texas want to start an advocacy organization?
We need to get more people to send letters to the Texas legislature asking them to repeal the DPS glassware law. It's stupid, does nothing to stop meth cooks since most of them just use pickle jars and vinyl tubing, and everyone already has a heating mantle and transformer (doorbell) in their house.

[Edited on 12-11-2015 by Cou]

m1tanker78 - 11-11-2015 at 18:50

It's a lot of hard work and it takes time to gather that kind of momentum. A campaign like that would almost certainly have to extend far beyond amateur chemists. Average citizens would have to get on board like they did for open carry.

I say it's doable if you tap the right resources and stick with it.

JJay - 11-11-2015 at 19:10

I'm not in Texas, but the glassware restrictions are outrageous. It looks like you can have test tubes and beakers but not much else.

Texium - 11-11-2015 at 21:38

Well here's the thing Cou, most people don't even know about the existence of that law. Drawing attention to it by campaigning for a repeal is likely only going to cause you trouble, and I wouldn't want to be involved with that. For all practical purposes, it might as well not exist if you are a polite person who doesn't try to hide their chemistry and doesn't do anything that is explicitly related to drugs or explosives. It seems like it gets heightened to a sort of hysteria where the Texan chemist feels like they will be descended upon by law enforcement if they mention to someone that they've purchased a flask or two. I know from firsthand experience that this isn't the case.

In fact, tomorrow I will be walking into my school (a government institution!) with a duffle bag containing an RBF, a Friedrich's condenser, and a Dean-Stark trap to use for a synthesis that I wanted to do at school during my independent study period (my school doesn't own the requisite glassware, but they do have the reagents and a nice fume hood). I'm not doing this to make a point, I'm just trying to act like my hobby is normal and acceptable as it should be. It's part of my philosophy that if you don't act like there's a reason that society shouldn't accept you, they'll have no reason not to. So far, it has held true. Now I'm known by a lot of people at my school, students and teachers alike, as the guy who really likes chemistry, and I don't mention the law to anyone other than a few close friends.

If you gain people's respect and enjoy yourself rather than being paranoid and making a scene, you won't regret it.

TheAlchemistPirate - 11-11-2015 at 22:10

Do I get a turn to rant?
I would just like to comment on how little people seem to know about the lack of equipment necessary to manufacture drugs. At the county fair, there was a booth dedicated solely to "drug lab cleanup services". Naturally, I walked over to see their photos of "drug labs". One picture that really caught my eye was on their business card. Needless to say, it was laughable the crap they had condensed into that picture (I wish I could find the card, it was great).
It was a picture of an array of every chemistry apparatus known to man. The pieces I recall seeing were:
1. A distillation setup, with a graham condenser and all sorts of bells and whistles like thistle tubes and thermometers and addition funnels.
2. A gas scrubber setup, with a series of flasks and tubes etc.
3. A heating mantle and hotplate, maybe with a stirrer.
There was enough equipment to cover a 3" by 6" area, all side by side glassware. I think they just took pictures while the local university was taking inventory of their entire chemistry lab :D .

j_sum1 - 11-11-2015 at 22:11

Just don't bring a clock to school!

Spirit of Niter - 12-11-2015 at 13:40
Although, this is in Mexico this is probably what the state of Texas thinks what home chemists are doing…

Texium - 12-11-2015 at 14:27

Well, I'm synthesizing tosylic acid using my own glassware at a Texas high school... they said it couldn't be done.

14473671176031003496916.jpg - 1MB

The Volatile Chemist - 31-12-2015 at 16:45

Wow. My AP Chem teacher was worried about my having soluble Lead compounds. My honors chem teacher suggested I extract Urea from urine, and proofread some of my chemistry 'research' papers. But my AP chem teacher probably wouldn't let me run something like a grignard in the fumehoods...

arkoma - 31-12-2015 at 18:21

Fortunately, I now live adjacent to The Great State of Texas. In fact I'm in Texarkana about 1000 yards from the state line for the holiday. Pheww, it's a tough row to hoe when it comes to civil disobedience. I can understand "keep your head down and get by". BUT. Thomas Jefferson is spinning in his grave at 7200 rpm. When no opposes idiocy and tyranny, guess what? It wins. A Mr Coffee is illegal under a "prudent person's" reading of the glassware law. Wake up young people. Register. VOTE

*edit* for spelling

[Edited on 1-1-2016 by arkoma]

TheAlchemistPirate - 31-12-2015 at 20:28

Quote: Originally posted by Spirit of Niter
Although, this is in Mexico this is probably what the state of Texas thinks what home chemists are doing…

That's hilarious. I especially liked the part "Mexican meth is the highest quality" (while a worker uses a table spoon to splash a mysterious liquid into a bucket,spilling it everywhere). I also noticed how they used reaction containers(plastic buckets) that were about 30x the required size, wasting half their product. Somehow I'm not certain of the validity of this show...