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Author: Subject: Advice for an Australian chemist.
j_sum1
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[*] posted on 11-9-2016 at 04:38


Quote: Originally posted by HeYBrO  
move this thread to whimsy- its just banter at this stage
The OP won't have access to whimsy at this stage.

My apologies for throwing this off topic a couple of times. I think it should stay where it is for a while for other aussie chemists to give their input. I am sure Tdep will have something to say.

[edit]
I have enjoyed the banter though.

[Edited on 11-9-2016 by j_sum1]




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[*] posted on 11-9-2016 at 08:13


I live for the banter of course, I'm glad people realise this.

Tasmania! It's always interesting to see how chemical availability varies across the country.
In regards to legailites, the exact laws for ownership of glassware and certain chemicals varies from state to state, however this seems to blend together and the way the laws are enforced are pretty much the same. Ordering glassware online will get a custom's tipoff to your local police force, but it will likely be the nicest 'raid' you will ever get. It's often annoying and inconvenient, but they're usually level headed police and if you're not making meth they're all cool. Maybe don't have your mercury, lithium or halon canisters on proud display, but they're not going to turn up at 4am and search through your bedroom draws just for glassware. I don't think any of us home chemists have ever used an EUD before with glassware? It's easier to just ask for forgiveness than trying to do the paperwork asking for permission.

Oh don't buy a pill press though. Was talking to someone who made that mistake, who needed it because he was making citric acid based tablets for testing wine or something. Completely legit. Usual Aus police tactis: they delivered the press as per usual and then wait a while to let you set up whatever illegal thing you want and then they come. With the pill press it was a full SWAT team. Still, they only seized the pill press (they apparently said it was 'the cleanest and most well maintained pill press they'd ever seen'!) and left the guy with the rest of his analytical chem setup in his shed.

There was one proper raid of an Australian on Sciencemadness, but he was making 'racemic ephedrines', which might have been legal but only just. I hope he made it through the court system ok, we haven't heard from him in a while: http://www.sciencemadness.org/talk/viewthread.php?tid=42715&...

Anyway, good to see you here. Being a Tasmanian on the internet, I assume that means it rained down there this week? Or have you guys finally stopped pumping our electricity into the Bass Strait
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[*] posted on 11-9-2016 at 14:44


Yes, for the time being we have ceased to use Bass Strait as an electrolytic cell, and we've now harnessed the energy of bitching pollies to run our grid.

Thanks for your input Tdep, luckily I have no intentions of buying a pill press or making ephedrines. Most of the experiments I have in mind are extractions of solvents from hardware store products, purifying H2SO4 and using it to make HNO3 etc, so hopefully nothing to get the law too excited.
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[*] posted on 11-9-2016 at 21:49


To shift the topic of discussion slightly, does anyone have any advice for controlling solvent vapours and smells? The location I have in mind for my lab is inside my house, and I'm a little concerned that if I start distilling toluene and DCM in my basement, I'll stink out the house. Is there likely to be any smell from solvents in glass bottles sealed with lab wrap?
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[*] posted on 11-9-2016 at 22:48


I use a fridge for solvents that are likely to be volatile work well. down there you could build an outdoor bunker too since it does not get so hot



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[*] posted on 12-3-2017 at 15:42


There was one proper raid of an Australian on Sciencemadness, but he was making 'racemic ephedrines', which might have been legal but only just. I hope he made it through the court system ok, we haven't heard from him in a while: http://www.sciencemadness.org/talk/viewthread.php?tid=42715&...

More accurately, he was experimenting with the conditions of the "Akabori-Momotani" reaction, which results in multiple products, 2 of which are ephedrine and pseudoehedrine.
He was mistaken as to the legality of posessing category 1 and 2 chemicals and items. He is very well known to me, so you can safely assume my words to be verbatim.

-He has been waiting for a trial for over 3 years, to contest 2 of the 3 Serious offences; the Summary offences are being put off until after the Serious matters are concluded, as per legal counsel's advice.
-He accepted a charge negotion deal almost a year ago, the lesser of 3 charges dropped for guilty on the other 2; this was after the facts constituting the lesser charge were conceded (by prosecution chemist) as being incorrect (under 1g Li, not over 13g, 7g threshold)
-Then the prosecutor was promoted (to the bench?), and the new prosecuter submitted a Amended Statement of Material Facts (ASMF).
-The submission of a new ASMF occured multiple times across 2 months (two sentencing hearings); the last submission occured 5 minutes before the 2nd hearing, and contained the words "offender does not admit *charge 2*".
-Defense council could not give a satisfactory response as to why the offender was pleading guilty, and when queried, the offender adressed the judge with "I will say whatever you want me to say. I am no longer able to go through this process. I am mentally broken, and i need out"
-Judge refused toaccept guilty plea, and defense lawyer had to recuse themselves. New legal counsel (F.Science degree, blood spatter etc) was assigned, as per the previous lawyer's recommendation.
-Judge has directed defense to lodge an application to "seek permission to change plea", to which the prosecution has objected.
-A day long hearing for this application was to occur at the end of February; it is now scheduled for mid-may.

The judge has changed at least 4 times throughout the above process.


To the op: We don't have the right to an expedited trial - there is no equivalent plea to No Contest.

1 *If you cannot withstand a financial/psychological war of attrition, think for a long time, twice, before deciding whether you want to rely on the "No Foul - No Harm" principle for protection from prosecution.*
2 *Your "lab" should be maintained at a standard that is at least equivalent to a professional lab (as best as one can), in order to appear as not a meth lab.*
3 *Personal life factors, such as habits and associations, can significantly effect LE perception*
and finally
4***Be aware that LE keeps intelligence that can be erroneous for not obvious reasons, and said fallacies can have real impacts***

Hopefully this post is clear and concise (as best as it can be, all things considerd)

MrBlank

PS. 4* makes for some interesting, if somewhat confusing, reading ( or so I am told :P )

[Edited on 12-3-2017 by MrBlank]

[Edited on 12-3-2017 by MrBlank]

[Edited on 13-3-2017 by MrBlank]

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j_sum1
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[*] posted on 12-3-2017 at 15:55


I have often wondered what happened to MrBlank1. Thanks for the update. Not sure why you put it in this thread though -- His own thread would have been better.

This does look suspiciously like a second account for the same person. But, Ok. Thanks for the details. We have quite a bit of discussion on Aus regulation and also on police visits. We have not got much on when it all turns pear-shaped and goes through the courts. Sounds stressful.
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JJay
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[*] posted on 12-3-2017 at 16:06


I have found that people who have been exposed to the criminal justice system rarely have accurate or useful perceptions as to its workings and best practices for dealing with it. They've often been defrauded by corrupt attorneys.



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[*] posted on 12-3-2017 at 16:19


MrBlank1 has a lot of documents, as his co-accused had her charges discontinued, and then was given responsibility for retaining her files by the her lawyer.
Literally, she walked out of court and was handed two lever arch folders, and at least 2 reams of a4 paper (1000 sheets, held together as a stack by two elastic bands).
All the events I have detailed, I have access to the documents to confirm.
The statements I have made, I have attempted to make as objectively as possible.
But ultimately, the above poster is correct : theory-loading quite likely affects my observations.

MrBlank1 is of the fervent belief that only he could have definitely avoided his current "experience", by conducting himself differently, and giving some consideration to the possible perception of others.

j_sum : I thought it best that I keep this information separate from his thread, at least until his matters are concluded.

As for stressful... he was more mentally distracted for the not guilty phase as he went through the evidence over and over; during the 6+ months when the guilty plea was in effect, pre-sentence reports etc, were occuring, but he was able to not think on the matter anymore, as doing so would not effect much difference; there was acceptance of his lack of control over the outcome.

The reason I post, is to provide data related to this "experiment", so that others can deduce themselves, draw their own inferences, and adduce as they see fit. I am open to all questions, the sensitive ones in private, of course.

Attached is some documents that may be helpful one day to someone else.

[Edited on 13-3-2017 by MrBlank]

Attachment: Sentencing Guide 1may07 final.pdf (4.5MB)
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Attachment: Practice Direction CRIM 3 of 2008 - Sentencing Hearings (PDF Format).pdf (293kB)
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[*] posted on 13-3-2017 at 00:27


I don't like how the Australian law deals with chemistry or science. The logic that the courts use is Lewis Carroll like at best. How they get to pass an analogues law is beyond all reason!
In front of the courts, a drug of dependence is a drug of dependence because it looks like one. The prosecution will testify to the judge with all seriousness and say "Your honour, he was found with a chemical that has the same general structure as an amphetamine and therefore it can be assumed to be the same as the prohibited substance, and should be charged with possessing same. "

Try that with your oncologist. It sort of looks like an anti-neoplastic, so, basically it's the same...

Or try running a meth habit with levo-amphetamine sulfate; you'll find out very quickly that it nothing like a racemic methamphetamine hydrochloride. But the law says that they are identical and you'll be charged with the same law for either substance.

Given that the law is a slack-jawed mouth breathing bully of the playground, it's just better to not get the attention of a bully. So on a public forum you shut your fool mouth and not ask 'what's the best way to make methylamine?'



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[*] posted on 29-7-2017 at 08:52


Well, what to say here?. Australia sure has its issues for law enforcement, I work in the food industry (food chemistry) and have had my fair share of problems. I use 24/40 as i find it reliable and easy to obtain, but has also flagged me on the odd occasion. I found the real issue was the chemicals I have, which makes me laugh as I have more dangerous and potential precursors under my kitchen sink. I can only say keep good lab books and reliable logs of all chemicals and a inventory of glassware., and most of all don't brag. Assumption of guilt is not how law works, but is how it is interpenetrated in most cases of chemistry labs by police. From my experience, know you stuff, and be honest. You may loose your glassware and hours and hours and hours.... (repeat and rinse) chemical synthesis, but if you keep your cool and have accurate records it should come out in your favor as long as you don't have honest and reliable records. What it boils down to don't make explosives or drugs in any quantity even to just experiment and follow the legal requirements of disposal of reactants. Love what you do and do what you love, chemistry is more than a hobby! It should be taken seriously.
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[*] posted on 29-7-2017 at 08:53


Oh BTW i'm in Victoria
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[*] posted on 28-8-2017 at 22:56


So I was just reading Reagents and Apparatus Acquisition ยป Finally made an account.. anyone (Australians?) buying overseas? I've also read this thread a few times as well as lurked the forum for a while, and I come to you bearing questions and confusion. Which is not quite as good as bearing gifts, but you take what you can get r- right?

Now, I haven't really even begun to do any home chemistry yet, still collecting, jury rigging, and cobbling together equipment. After that's done, I'm planning on synthesising/purifying/etc. the most basic reagents first, because I'd like to try making before I start buying things like sulfuric and nitric acids, plus it'd be good practice that can be done relatively more safely due to the abundance of information out there at my reading level.

So with that little disclaimer, any questions are very hypothetical, and not in the "nudge nudge wink wink" way either.

Also, I'll post links of what I've found so far in regard to New South Wales, if people have the equivalent links for other states, please feel free to post them!

Quote: Originally posted by adk  

Several chemicals - including perchlorates are actually on the Security Sensitive Dangerous Substances list, and actually require a permit and security clearance to buy, sell, import, export or use.

[...]

Please check the relevant legislation in NSW and really get your head around that stuff before embarking on a project of this nature.


Quote: Originally posted by Tdep  

In regards to legailites, the exact laws for ownership of glassware and certain chemicals varies from state to state, however this seems to blend together and the way the laws are enforced are pretty much the same.




  1. Security Sensitive Dangerous Substances list - In the NSW legislation, it says that the only thing on the list is "Security Sensitive Ammonium Nitrate" - basically, the pure stuff. Well, I figure that can't be it, so I assume that's a state addition to a Federal list? But I can't find anything like that, can anyone enlighten me? I initially thought it might've been Schedule 10 of the Poisons Standard, but adk mentioned it was basically bomb making stuff, so that doesn't quite fit with it.
  2. Use of small quantities of precursors for educational or research purposes - Now I know that strictly speaking, my shed isn't a research institution, but if I were to do something like a recrystallisation of a small amount of AN (or other things on this hypothetical Federal SSDS list), could that be interpreted as a relatively safe thing to do, legally speaking? For instance, I go buy a bag of fertiliser, it has x% AN along with about five other things, I try my hand at separating out all six ingredients, and now have ~200g AN.
  3. Use of small quantities of explosives for educational or research purposes - Does such a provision exist, legally? Can I potentially cook up a teeny tiny amount, like a gram or less? Tdep, this is your time to shine!
  4. MEFF - What is clear, is that even teeny tiny amounts of drugs are a huge no-no, as Mr Blank's experience seems to show. Now here's where my survivalist bent shows, but what about trying to make prescription medication that you actually have a prescription for? This is perhaps a bit of a stretch to consider, but it might be fun to think about. Plus, you'd be ready for the zombie apocalypse, which is nice!
  5. What other potential legal pitfalls are there, and any advice? Things that produce a lot of smoke could be one, someone might call the fire brigade. Things that can't be poured down the sink for disposal, like heavy metals. Things associated with drugs/explosives but aren't, like chemical fuzes or the pill press thing that Tdep mentioned above.


Anyway, here's a list of largely impenetrable and vague legalese that I've found so far:

Federal

  1. NICNAS - Chemical regulation in Australia
  2. Poisons Standard June 2017


New South Wales

  1. Explosives Act 2003
  2. Explosives Regulation 2013
  3. Safe Work Australia - NSW Explosives Legislation
  4. Guide for manufacture explosives and/or security sensitive dangerous substances


If you have links for your own states, please feel free to add them, because you never know who's browsing but not posting! I've been lurking here and related YouTube channels since late last year.

[Edited on 29-8-2017 by DeathByMisadventure]
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j_sum1
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[*] posted on 29-8-2017 at 02:57


Welcome, DeathByMisadventure.
That was a tidy first post. You have compiled a good list of explosive-related regulations.

In my experience the bigger issue is drug precursors -- or at least that is likely to be the bigger concern for me. I am unlikely to be doing anything much in the area of energetic materials. Tdep's perspective may of course be different. It seems to me also that the drug issue is the thing that the cops focus on more. That may of course change as the perceived need for antiterrorist measures ramps up.

The document I linked upthread is a pretty important one. It is dated 2006 but is, as far as I know, the most recent version. It is a code of practice for law enforcement agencies concerning drug precursors and contains the schedules of watched chemicals and equipment. It is interesting that it is a code of practice rather than a regulation The bottom line seems to be that this is what the police are on the lookout for. It has legal implications for suppliers -- namely EUDs. The implications for users are less clear. But I think it is wise to know what is being watched.

I have found these other documents from a couple of different states that appear to be based on the same 2006 document.


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There does not seem to be much that prohibits a home chemist from possessing anything. So I think your AN will be ok. There are regulations that govern sales and distribution. There are obviously prohibited drugs -- which should be pretty easy to steer clear of. And then there is this list which is an invitation to have questions asked. The stories of police visits suggest that they are attempting to establish intent. If they cannot draw a clear link between your activity and illicit drugs then you are pretty much ok. Making a prescription medication ghetto style would seem to be muddying the waters. I think that would be a bad idea.
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[*] posted on 29-8-2017 at 16:53


I have Victorian rules courtesy the Clan lab squad (hand delivered :( )

precursors are the big one imo as j_sum says. have a lab book and have good records of what you have and use and where your equipment etc is sourced.




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[*] posted on 30-8-2017 at 14:35


"There does not seem to be much that prohibits a home chemist from possessing anything. So I think your AN will be ok. There are regulations that govern sales and distribution. There are obviously prohibited drugs -- which should be pretty easy to steer clear of. And then there is this list which is an invitation to have questions asked. The stories of police visits suggest that they are attempting to establish intent. If they cannot draw a clear link between your activity and illicit drugs then you are pretty much ok. Making a prescription medication ghetto style would seem to be muddying the waters. I think that would be a bad idea."

Um ....

Most State Heath departments (SHD) have legislation in place that prohibit the possession of various scheduled drugs (see the SUSMP for the list). The legislation covers not only the sale of the material but, in the case of Sched 4,7,8,9 & 10 materials may impose limitations on the manufacture, possession or use of the materials under certain circumstances. Most SHD are moving to a licencing model which would preclude possession by "non-licenced facilities". So making a prescription med which is a "Pharmacy Only Medicine" (Schedule 4) would land you in the sh1t. As most LEA are not well versed in "chemicals (general)" vs "chemical (precursors)" they will generally assume the worst.

In terms of Security Sensitive Compounds, while SSAN is specifically listed, the legislation refers to most Class 1 Dangerous Goods (Explosives), and a number of precursor compounds (incl SSAN, high grade peroxide, high grade nitric acid) have been "under survey" by the Federal Government on a regular basis either for inclusion on the list or as compounds that LEA should be aware of.

Of course, none of that means that government departments or agencies have any real idea about most of these issues - I had an acquaintance who, for a brief period of time, would have been regarded as the greatest illicit drugs threat on the east coast. Why? He was a supplier of a plasticiser/solvent for paint manufacture - the product just happend to be a precursor for gama-hydroxy-buterate (GHB/fantasy) and he had about 200 tonnes in stock. When they brought in the legislation to cover GHB he got caught up in the legislation and had to explain the why he had the stock and who his customers were (all large paint companies) - Health Dept / DEA looked very sheepish and went back to re-assess their stance.

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[*] posted on 30-8-2017 at 14:49


Thanks bountyhunter.
None of what you said actually negates anything of mine that you quoted. But it is good to have further information.
Here is the SUSMP document you referred to and an explanatory statement.
downloadable here
https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2017L00605/Download

Latest version as of today's date


Attachment: F2017L00605.pdf (5.6MB)
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[*] posted on 31-8-2017 at 05:50


As for documenting everything, I've put a reasonable amount of thought into that as well, basically I'll have four components:


  1. Lab/Experiment journal
    Pretty self-explanatory. Write down what I did, store away from open flames. Periodically also maybe scan or photograph the pages.
  2. Ledger
    Just to keep track of where I'm sourcing things from, how much I'm spending, etc.
  3. Equipment Database
    Do something simple up in MS Excel or Access, basically a list of everything I have, with reference to the ledger, as well as when I stop using it because I broke it or whatever. Would be useful for me when planning out an experiment on my computer.
  4. Chemical Database
    The best idea I've come up with is a container-based transaction record (linked with #3), basically give all the bottles a number, then have a transaction of amounts going in and out per experiment or purchase.
    So an example of an outgoing transaction may be something like container 016, 50mL out, experiment 024, 20/07/2018
    Then an incoming transaction may be something like container 005, 75mL in, H2O2 ~30%, experiment/purchase 015, 14/04/2018
    That way I can track what I used in each experiment, what's in waste containers, if I'm combining different concentrations, what the aggregate concentration is, etc.


I'm also thinking that it'd be handy to build up a list of safety information for each chemical based on CAS number, that way when I plan out an experiment, I can filter out a list of the things I'm going to use, and have a chart of obvious things like hazards (don't inhale, burns skin, etc.) as well as something I haven't seen anywhere, but safety equipment you can, and more importantly, can't use (like certain types of gloves with certain chemicals).
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[*] posted on 31-8-2017 at 06:58


I suggest that you do not try to produce the definitive textbook of chemical interactions,
unless you want it to be your life's work.

Once you have researched your specific intended experiments and possible problems,
and at least checked that it has not been covered here on SM (the SM search tool is crap - use google),
I suggest that you post your intended experiment here on SM, in the apropriate section, preferably with a reference,
someone here will probably spot hazards that you may not have, or suggest better or different procedures.
If you have done your basic research you will find folk here genuinely helpful,
if you expect to be spoon-fed you WILL get flamed :P




SAFETY WARNING: despite the number of stars & posts I have, I am only an amateur with a poor memory nd I make mistakes and may occasionally give erroneous advice
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[*] posted on 1-9-2017 at 14:12


"I'm also thinking that it'd be handy to build up a list of safety information for each chemical based on CAS number, that way when I plan out an experiment, I can filter out a list of the things I'm going to use, and have a chart of obvious things like hazards (don't inhale, burns skin, etc.) as well as something I haven't seen anywhere, but safety equipment you can, and more importantly, can't use (like certain types of gloves with certain chemicals)."

If you have the CAS#, then all of this information should be available on the "new" SDS format that came in with GHS. If you need SDS, let me know - we have access to the complete Chemwatch database.




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[*] posted on 26-9-2017 at 01:52


Hey all; well, in spite of the terrorist raghead nutjobs who continue to make our hobby and passion only marginally more socially tolerable than public masturbation, this little piece of news comes out. And for once it seems to be a small reprieve from the zero tolerance lowbrow policy making we've been seeing of late.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-26/pranksters-will-not-be...

I hope this kind of thing gets a bit more airplay
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[*] posted on 3-11-2017 at 07:59


Some great PDF's here...

From what I can acertain possessing glassware is completely fine. But if you don't submit an EUD for the bigger stuff and instead order said stuff from eBay or Amazon or whatever that expect a visit from the po po. In NSW you need EUD's for all but one tiny Liebig condenser, for heating mantles 500ml or more (I think), from sozlet extractors etc. all my glass is 24/29 and I provided an EUD for it. There are certain chemicals that are gig are a big no ni
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[*] posted on 6-11-2017 at 04:56


EUD's aren't as big of a deal as people seem to think. When you fill one out, the vendor doesn't do anything with it, they just keep it in storage for 2(or 5) years.

The only way anyone else access' it, or even knows it exists, is if you're already in some deep shit and under scrutiny. I notice some people have the impression that EUD's are somehow used to track and record all the potentially shady purchases in some LEO database.
It'd be interesting to know how many times LEO have actually submitted a request for an EUD since they brought the system in, and how often it contributed to legal repercussions. I wouldn't be surprised if it were only a handful of times per year.
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