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Amos
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[*] posted on 8-12-2014 at 17:42
Moving drug-related threads


There's a somewhat unsettling trend I've been noticing on here lately. We have a good number of threads on the site that detail the synthesis of illegal drugs and their precursors, and this opens the door to a lot of wannabe-cooks coming to pay Sciencemadness a visit with the sole intention of cooking. This can be seen in that these old threads are awoken from their rest by first-time posters.

While I'm not opposed to the threads remaining, especially considering the amount of useful information present in them, I do feel that they attract attention that the majority of us do not want here. I was thinking that they could be kept behind locked doors in their own category, similar to Whimsy and References, until the judgment has been made that users wanting access actually have a smidgeon of honest investment in the science of chemistry.

What are your thoughts on this?




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[*] posted on 8-12-2014 at 18:06


Going back 20 days I only see one thread (that I recognize) as being such ("Phenylpropanones (P2P) from anilines").

Am I missing some?

If is a basic reagent that just happens to be useful in various drug syntheses then I would say that this is a very slippery slope.
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[*] posted on 8-12-2014 at 18:08


The thread no tears only dreams now is talking about is "Potential route to amphetamines" which I agree doesn't belong on sciencemadness, at least not in a public section.



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[*] posted on 8-12-2014 at 18:59


Quote: Originally posted by Pinkhippo11  
The thread no tears only dreams now is talking about is "Potential route to amphetamines" which I agree doesn't belong on sciencemadness, at least not in a public section.


Oh, I missed because I was looking for older stuff.

That is a good test case to consider. Although the original thread was started with the explicit intent of making amphetamine, the post that brought it up was dealing with the synthesis of a general purpose reagent which I think should not be problematic.

This one situation where encouraging people to post to old threads is not a good idea.
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[*] posted on 8-12-2014 at 20:05



Those asking for "cookbook" level controlled drug/precursor synthesis information will likely see those threads or posts sent to detritus rather quickly. There are many other forums for those with such interests, site policy is to detritus and/or lock down, not delete.

No class of chemistry/chemical engineering is automatically forbidden here- And the organic chemistry typically used for illicit pharmaceutical production has applications far beyond that area. Please see the FAQ for site policy on this, and PM one of the moderators more experienced in organic chemistry for clarification on any explicit questions regarding what may be "beyond the pale".

Regardless of personal opinions about motive, ethics or personalities of those posting on such chemistry, there has been some very innovative chemistry developed or re-discovered by those on what some deem to be the "dark side". Knowledge and technologies are neither good nor evil. It comes down to the uses and users-




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[*] posted on 8-12-2014 at 20:10


Quote: Originally posted by Bert  

Those asking for "cookbook" level controlled drug/precursor synthesis information will likely see those threads or posts sent to detritus rather quickly. There are many other forums for those with such interests, site policy is to detritus and/or lock down, not delete.

No class of chemistry/chemical engineering is automatically forbidden here- And the organic chemistry typically used for illicit pharmaceutical production has applications far beyond that area. Please see the FAQ for site policy on this, and PM one of the moderators more experienced in organic chemistry for clarification on any explicit questions regarding what may be "beyond the pale".

Regardless of personal opinions about motive, ethics or personalities of those posting on such chemistry, there has been some very innovative chemistry developed or re-discovered by those on what some deem to be the "dark side". Knowledge and technologies are neither good nor evil. It comes down to the uses and users-


All good points that I agree with; my concern was more with detracting people from coming here at all if they only want to be spoonfed cookery techniques; a google search for "methamphetamine from X and Y" might lead them straight here.




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[*] posted on 8-12-2014 at 20:25


It might also bring people who are legitimately interested in the chemistry here.
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[*] posted on 8-12-2014 at 20:36


Meant to post this hours earlier, but refreshed the page and forgot:
While I agree with the idea in principle, I think that having a subforum of "Super Sketchy Drug Related Stuff" would attract other sorts of unwanted attention...

Also, I don't think someone searching for "methamphetamine from X and Y" would be legitimately interested in chemistry.




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[*] posted on 8-12-2014 at 21:02


After about 9 months? of moderating and 10 years membership, I can tell you- The kitchen recipe drug cooks are neither prevalent nor catered to/ignored when posting here. There are certainly some here with experience in the chemistry of illicit pharmaceutical manufacture. Also personnel of various police and drug enforcement agencies.

I rather suspect some of the more "balls out" requests for drug precursor sources are actually made BY the drug enforcement types? Hoping someone is so foolish as to do their work for them? Although a drugged up amateur chemist COULD be foolish enough to post such idiotic requests as THIS!

If you have questions, ASK. If you have doubts, or flat out know something does not meet forum guidelines, REPORT it or PM a moderator WITH A LINK. The more you are involved in self policing the forum of questionable content, the less likely it is to linger.

I have not yet got a PM with link or a member's report on the post that sparked this? And no one has yet linked to it in this thread! I (and the other mods) do still have "day jobs", and can only spend some of our off work hours here- you have to help us out a bit .

[Edited on 9-12-2014 by Bert]




Rapopart’s Rules for critical commentary:

1. Attempt to re-express your target’s position so clearly, vividly and fairly that your target says: “Thanks, I wish I’d thought of putting it that way.”
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3. Mention anything you have learned from your target.
4. Only then are you permitted to say so much as a word of rebuttal or criticism.

Anatol Rapoport was a Russian-born American mathematical psychologist (1911-2007).

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[*] posted on 8-12-2014 at 21:34


Yeah, you're right, Bert. I'll try to help get those things taken care of; that should be enough to keep it clean. You can close/remove this thread now if you like.



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[*] posted on 8-12-2014 at 21:43


No, this thread stays. It's worth while.

The only stupid questions are the ones you didn't ask...




Rapopart’s Rules for critical commentary:

1. Attempt to re-express your target’s position so clearly, vividly and fairly that your target says: “Thanks, I wish I’d thought of putting it that way.”
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3. Mention anything you have learned from your target.
4. Only then are you permitted to say so much as a word of rebuttal or criticism.

Anatol Rapoport was a Russian-born American mathematical psychologist (1911-2007).

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[*] posted on 9-12-2014 at 04:49


Quote: Originally posted by zts16  
Also, I don't think someone searching for "methamphetamine from X and Y" would be legitimately interested in chemistry.

Say you were interested in that reaction. What exactly would you search for?
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[*] posted on 9-12-2014 at 18:58


Quote: Originally posted by Etaoin Shrdlu  
Quote: Originally posted by zts16  
Also, I don't think someone searching for "methamphetamine from X and Y" would be legitimately interested in chemistry.

Say you were interested in that reaction. What exactly would you search for?


If someone's genuinely interested in learning about the actual mechanisms involved in such reactions, there are ways to go about it without ever mentioning "methamphetamine." For example, one could use search terms like:

Reductive amination mechanism
Leuckart reaction mechanism
Reduction of benzylic alcohols by Li/Na/K in NH3
Reduction of benzylic alcohols by hydroiodic acid and red phosphorous

To be honest, the last two are actually rather interesting. (mechanistically speaking) They both seem to involve benzylic radicals and the latter also reduces hydroxyl groups adjacent to carbonyl groups. You don't have to be a "drug cook" to find some of these reactions kind of interesting.




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[*] posted on 9-12-2014 at 20:21


Darkstar, this is kind of what I was getting at. People that are genuinely interested in the chemistry will use those kinds of terms, rather than searching on google "how to make meth with kitchen tools". The fact that we're getting people of the second category coming to the site is what I had intended to prevent.



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[*] posted on 9-12-2014 at 21:41


We constantly have people showing up at the forum, young, ignorant and looking for kitchen cook book recipes for explosives. They are treated in much the same fashion as those who showed up looking for a quick and dirty drug synthesis. Not categorically forbidden to post on their interests, but required to demonstrate they have tried to learn something and to use certain accepted patterns when posting

A certain % of these new people stick around, learn and grow interests beyond whatever enticing "forbidden fruit" sucked them into this fine madness.

Go back and re-read the Mad Science FAQ

Don't sweat who is showing up. Just help educate them into the culture, either they will learn- Or they will leave.




Rapopart’s Rules for critical commentary:

1. Attempt to re-express your target’s position so clearly, vividly and fairly that your target says: “Thanks, I wish I’d thought of putting it that way.”
2. List any points of agreement (especially if they are not matters of general or widespread agreement).
3. Mention anything you have learned from your target.
4. Only then are you permitted to say so much as a word of rebuttal or criticism.

Anatol Rapoport was a Russian-born American mathematical psychologist (1911-2007).

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[*] posted on 10-12-2014 at 13:26


Quote: Originally posted by Darkstar  
Quote: Originally posted by Etaoin Shrdlu  
Quote: Originally posted by zts16  
Also, I don't think someone searching for "methamphetamine from X and Y" would be legitimately interested in chemistry.

Say you were interested in that reaction. What exactly would you search for?


If someone's genuinely interested in learning about the actual mechanisms involved in such reactions, there are ways to go about it without ever mentioning "methamphetamine." For example, one could use search terms like:

Reductive amination mechanism
Leuckart reaction mechanism
Reduction of benzylic alcohols by Li/Na/K in NH3
Reduction of benzylic alcohols by hydroiodic acid and red phosphorous

No, no, no. You're just interested in the reaction. You haven't studied it. You don't know what type it is. You don't know the terminology. Or maybe you do know the terminology, but you're curious how things work with this particular substrate. What do you search for?

EDIT: Let's put it this way. You've just now become acquainted with the term "shake-and-bake" through a news story, and you're curious about what exactly people are doing that other people are so concerned about. Don't tell me your very first search is going to be "generating ammonia in-situ for Birch reduction," because if it is you're some sort of magic man who never needed to do a search to begin with.

[Edited on 12-10-2014 by Etaoin Shrdlu]
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[*] posted on 10-12-2014 at 23:06


Quote: Originally posted by Etaoin Shrdlu  

No, no, no. You're just interested in the reaction. You haven't studied it. You don't know what type it is. You don't know the terminology. Or maybe you do know the terminology, but you're curious how things work with this particular substrate. What do you search for?

I could see it either way.
If they knew almost any chemistry at the time of searching, they should be able to look at reactant and product and determine if an oxidation, reduction, etc. is going on. This should allow someone to use terms such as "reduction of X to Y using reagent" or some variation thereof.
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[*] posted on 11-12-2014 at 10:14


I can see that argument. But the fewer ingredients and conditions you know and the more obfuscated the procedure is, the less likely that you're going to be able to go straight to looking up the basic type of reaction. Like I said, if you heard "shake-and-bake meth" and thought "generating ammonia in-situ for Birch reduction" you already knew what was going on and probably didn't need to search. It's entirely possible to be curious without having a clue where to start with the scientific terminology.

As well, people with some experience in inorganic chemistry but none in organic chemistry often get interested in drug synthesis reactions because those are (hilariously) the type of organic synthesis that gets into the public eye. It seems kind of petty to deliberately "cloak" the forum, as it were, against searches that only contain ingredients because really, isn't that where all of us got started?

What comes first, seeing what happens when you combine baking soda and vinegar, or learning you can classify it as a double displacement reaction with subsequent decomposition of a product?
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[*] posted on 11-12-2014 at 13:13


I agree. I'm well-versed in inorganic chemistry, but know next to nothing about organic. I doubt I could look at some crazy stick drawing and compare it to another crazy stick drawing and conclude 'this must be a reduction!' :) Even if I were able to find a "reduction of X to Y" type reaction, it would be hard for me to know if this pertained at all to the actual reaction I was looking for. First step is to find out what the hell 'meth' even is (chemically-speaking)!
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[*] posted on 11-12-2014 at 13:59


Quote: Originally posted by Bert  

Those asking for "cookbook" level controlled drug/precursor synthesis information will likely see those threads or posts sent to detritus rather quickly. There are many other forums for those with such interests, site policy is to detritus and/or lock down, not delete.

No class of chemistry/chemical engineering is automatically forbidden here- And the organic chemistry typically used for illicit pharmaceutical production has applications far beyond that area. Please see the FAQ for site policy on this, and PM one of the moderators more experienced in organic chemistry for clarification on any explicit questions regarding what may be "beyond the pale".

Good for you Bert. Maybe the Nannies should go to another forum as well

Regardless of personal opinions about motive, ethics or personalities of those posting on such chemistry, there has been some very innovative chemistry developed or re-discovered by those on what some deem to be the "dark side". Knowledge and technologies are neither good nor evil. It comes down to the uses and users-




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[*] posted on 11-12-2014 at 14:20


im just happy that drugs wasnt my interest when i once decided to buy my first chemicals
we poured drain cleaner into plastic bottles and added aluminium foil, rather harmless

i think its quite seldom people are actually drawn to chemistry by the more uninteresting parts of chemistry, such as aquarious reactions that has no colour change and is done in 0.01M concentrations

most chemists does something thats by societal standards not okay, whether that be to dare to make 0.1g of HE or methamphetamine, honestly it has been through my head a few times to try to make just a miniscule amount of the stuff and i know many others have had the thought, but again SM should be kept to amateur chemistry and not for profit




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[*] posted on 11-12-2014 at 16:38


in my training days I did quite a lot of work in organic retrosynthetic analysis of drugs. it was an interesting academic exercise and useful for legitimate synthetic research. I have no interest in drugs at all.

IMHO if a member is asking about such topics for legitimate reasons, they would more than likely be able to access the appropriate papers and find out for themselves. Otherwise members should take their drug peddling questions elsewhere and reduce the likelihood of forum members getting undue attention from Big Brother
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[*] posted on 11-1-2015 at 13:19


I don't necessarily think all drug related synthesis should be banned here, like many others have said, the chemistry is extremely interesting and has potential far beyond drugs. I have no interest in making, selling, or using drugs, but I still like to read about the procedures and chemistry behind them. More importantly, people can and will always find ways to make drugs with whatever they have, so essentially everything is a precursor. We should not vilify precursors because of their potential use. Most if not all precursors have plenty of other legitimate use. People vilifying any inanimate object or substance is just ridiculous. A person's will is to blame. If someone is really set on something, a simple regulation or law will not detour them. Of course there are the obvious cooks and such, that make amateur chemistry harder to practice for everyone since they are the sole reason for countless useless laws, but we shouldn't let them bring us down and inhibit the learning of others. In my opinion, everyone deserves to access non personal knowledge, how they use it is their responsibility.



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[*] posted on 12-1-2015 at 00:15


Drugs hurt less people then explosives, well at least the choice to be hurt by drugs is a personal one and just that a choice yet time and time again i see people crying about biologically active chemicals yet no one bats an eye at the entire section dedicated to blowing shit up. Does this make any sense?




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[*] posted on 12-1-2015 at 00:53


Quote: Originally posted by Sedit  
Drugs hurt less people then explosives

You have a citation for that?
At least in my corner of the world, drug related problems, (including crimes to finance habits and family/community breakdown) are far more prevalent than damage caused by explosives and guns.
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