Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is...

New legislation has been introduced into the United States House of Representatives entitled "Synthetic Drug Control Act of 2015". It is a long piece of legislation for one reason...

The folks who wrote this thing have included a humongous amount of additional substances to be added to Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act.

From my count, the bill includes:

121 phenylalkylamines
117 cannabimimetics
16 arylcyclohexamines
26 tryptamines 
8 benzylpiperidines
5 benzodiazepines
13 opioids and opioid-like substances
8 piperazines
2 tropane alkaloids


316 Schedule I controlled substances listed in those drug classes.

As a comparison, if you include the recently announced scheduling of MAB-CHMINACA, there are currently 25 synthetic cannabinoids/cannabimimetics classified as Schedule I controlled substances at the Federal level. This legislation increases that number to 117 substances, which is a 368% increase in number of controlled synthetic cannabinoids.

What are we doing here?

Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is insanity.

This is insanity.

And to make matters worse for the non-chemist, the initial text of the bill, contains only chemical names - there are no common names included. There are no JWH-xxx or AB-XXXXXX or Alpha-XXX listed.  I am not going to go through the list line-by-line at the moment and detail what exactly is included, but here are two examples of drugs that are to be newly scheduled if this legislation is passed and signed.

Methoxetamine is listed as its chemical name 2-(ethylamino)-2-(3-methoxyphenyl)cyclohexanone. There is no mention that this substance is commonly known as Methoxetamine.

Etizolam is listed under the Benzodiazepines designation (even though it is not a benzodiazepine; it is a thienodiazepine) as 4-(2-chlorophenyl)-2-ethyl-9-methyl-6H-thieno-[3,2-f][1,2,4]triazolo[4,3-a][1,4]diazepine. There is no mention of the name etizolam.

Oh joy. The cat and mouse games of the government continue.

Schedule hundreds of compounds thereby making them illegal to possess and use and eventually (pretty quickly I might add) hundreds more compounds with completely unknown pharmacology and toxicology will flood the market. Great plan.



To all the crime labs out there who test for Schedule I controlled substances, if this legislation passes, your life is about to become more complex because now you have to include these in your testing panels. That's job stability and security, I guess.

The PDF version of H.R.3537 can be found here.


  1. Hi ForensicToxGuy! I'm in the process of making a graphical chart, with structures matched to H.R.3537 codes and common names, for the cannabimimetic agents in this Bill. I'd love to be able to share it with you and your readers. It might make life easier for those of us working with this substances in an ever-shifting regulatory landscape.

    1. By all means, I'd love to see it and share it.

      Thanks! FTG