Please support the dutch importers and distributors of psychoactive substances against the proposal to amend the Dutch Opium Act
The Dutch government wants to ban all current and future research chemicals. All trade will switch back to the illegal street vendors with poor quality. This is unacceptable. Please connect with the group of vendors if you want to help.
Some Selected Documents that this groupgenerated can be found here: https://juklislab.com/npswet
Some noteable quotes:
Starting from the second half of the 20st century, there was constant research into new psychoactive substances (NPS), both in official, scientific or industrial institution and by private persons. Alexander Shulgin alone discovered more than 200 NPS, both as an industry chemist and as a self-funded scientist. 1–5 A majority of those compounds belonged to the β-phenylethylamine (PEA) class, which is one of the categories proposed to be added to the Dutch drug law (“Opiumwet”, Opium Act) in list 1A. 6 From a pharmacological point of view, PEA are a rich and diverse group of substances. It contains many serotonin (particularly 5HT 2A and 5HT 2C ) receptor agonists, 1,7–11 monoamine releasing agents (MRA) 12– 15 and monoamine reuptake inhibitors (MRI). 16–19 Psychopharmacologically, 5HT 2A agonists usually act as so-called psychedelics. The term means “soul-manifesting” (Greek) and was coined in 1956 by British psychiatrist Humphry Osmond. 20 Both MRI and MRA can be broadly characterized as psychostimulants, although there are considerable differences between their biological activities and therefore potential uses, depending mostly on the ratios of activity on the three monoamine neurotransmitter systems (norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin). 14,21 Both psychedelics and psychostimulants are known to be used recreationally, with especially the latter being of some concern due to their addictive and reinforcing properties. 22,23 Despite their abuse potential, those substances or their close analogues are still widely used medically or studied for potential future applications. MRA and MRI of the PEA category are used to treat such conditions as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), 15,24,25 narcolepsy, 26,27 obesity, 28,29 depression 19,21,30,31 and asthma, 32,33 as well as to alleviate the symptoms of the common cold. 34 Additionally, empathogens, a subclass PEA-based MRA, have shown big promise in treating PTSD and other currently hard to treat mental health conditions. 35-39 In recent years, psychedelics have come increasingly into focus of psychiatric research. 40 After being extensively studied in the middle of the 20 th century for various applications, 1,41-43 they are now being investigated as potential treatments of depression, 40,44 alcoholism 45–47 and anxiety in terminally sick patients. 48 Additionally, some psychedelics have shown considerable promise in treating cluster headaches 49–51 and are now in phase II clinical trials. 52 Synthetic cannabinoids are another category targeted in the proposed update to the Opium Act. They are defined by their agonistic activity on cannabinoid receptors, particularly the CB1 receptor. 53,54 Synthetic cannabinoids were developed to study the cannabinoid receptor system because of legal restriction and limited availability of natural cannabinoids. 55 While those substances are currently not used therapeutically, there is a conceivable potential of medical application to treat the same conditions that can be treated with cannabis. 56,57 In recent years synthetic cannabinoids became popular among recreational users as a cheap and legal substitute for cannabis. 58,59 However, most synthetic cannabinoids are more potent and more acutely toxic than THC, leading to increasing public health concerns as their use became more widespread. 53,59–61 The third category targeted in the proposed update to the Opium Act are 4-aminopiperidine derivatives, which contain many potent opioid analgesics, derived from the well-known drug fentanyl. 62,63 While essential for medical and veterinary use, 64 those substances pose a high risk if sold 2on the black market due to their high potency and the life-threatening character of opioid overdoses. 65,66 Since the early phases of psychopharmacological research, new synthetic, psychoactive substances have appeared on the black market from time to time. 67 This was mostly a sporadic process which was often limited to a country or region and lasted a limited amount of time, with 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) being the major exception and becoming a globally used party drug. 68 The term “designer drugs” was coined to describe those emerging synthetic psychoactive drugs. Around the year 2000 the internet became widespread and fast enough to make a noticeable impact on society. The world became increasingly connected, information became more accessible and the trade started to shift more and more from classical ways to ordering online. This led to the emergence of online shops selling NPS that were legal at the time. The vendors called their products “research chemicals” (RC) and usually labeled them as “not for human consumption” to protect themselves from legal liability. 69 While the NPS trade starting out as a niche market, the number and sale volume of those online vendors grew with an increasing rate over the course of the next years. 69 The increased availability of NPS also led to a proliferation of so-called “legal highs” mostly sold in local headshops. 70 In contrast to research chemicals sold online, legal highs were marketed under brand names without displaying the identity or amount of active ingredients, which could even vary within the same product. 59 Many RC online vendors tried to avoid drawing attention of the general public, but some vendors still marketed their shops and products aggressively. This was especially true for the multitude of scammer websites, which claimed to sell the same products as the legit vendors, but either never shipped them, shipped wrong substances or products of low quality (impure and/or containing other active substances). This led to the emergence of online platforms for rating vendors (Reddit groups, the website SafeorScam and later Scamlogs), which increased the pressure on vendors to provide good service and quality control for their products. 71,72 Another important source of information for NPS users were drug forums (e.g. Bluelight and Drugsforum) and websites with encyclopedia-like libraries (e.g. Erowid), where experiences, dosages, drug interactions and side- effects were discussed. 71,73 Thttps://www.internetconsultatie.nl/opiumwet_npshis exchange of information alleviated the dangers of ingesting unknown chemicals to some extent. About 10 to 15 years after the first appearance of online NPS trade the market had grown to an extent as to come into the focus of public awareness. Since the worldwide ban of mephedrone and the first seizures of synthetic cannabinoids in 2010, law makers and law enforcement agencies NPS had started reacting to the new situation, mostly unilaterally. 74,75 Many countries added the most widespread NPS and those of greatest concern to their drug laws on a yearly basis, which led to the development of new, still legal NPS with effect profiles comparable to those that have been banned. 69,74,75 The ineffectiveness of such an approach became soon apparent: the use of NPS and the numbers of hospitalizations kept increasing, but the drug users were forced to try more and more new substances with unknown biological and toxicological properties. 76 Therefore, the legislators of many countries passed laws commonly called “blanket bans” aiming to cover most or all already available or emerging NPS. The USA already had the Federal Analogue Act, which stated that any chemical “substantially 3similar” to scheduled substances were automatically also scheduled, if intended for human consumption. 77 While covering a wide range of NPS, this law has an obvious flaw of not properly defining what constitutes a substantial similarity. The UK, which had the largest numbers of NPS users and NPS related hospitalizations in Europe, passed the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016, making all non-whitelisted psychoactive substances illegal. 78 This law is flawed much in the same way as the US version because it is not completely clear when a substance can be called psychoactive and because it must be proved in each case separately. 79 Other countries like Germany have passed laws controlling whole classes of compounds, based on their chemical structure. 80,81 This approach was also employed by Dutch legislators for the intended update of the Opium Act. While scheduling well-defined classes of compounds is better than loose definitions from a legal point of view, there are still considerable drawbacks to such an approach and to blanket bans in general. An important argument against all blanket bans and especially the use of psychoactivity as the criterion is its being in contradiction to the rationale behind drug prohibition, which is to minimize harm caused by drug use. 79 Therefore, a risk assessment must be undertaken before banning a drug. 79,82 In an open letter to the British prime minister signed by more than 40 academics, Prof. David Nutt argued that the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016 would not only increase the total harm caused by drug use in UK for reasons discussed later, but would also be downright unethical. 83 This essay focuses on the expected consequences of scheduling substance categories and the practical effects of such prohibitive measures on the social harm caused by drug and NPS use, without an in-depth analysis of the ethical side. The main three issues discussed extensively in this work are as follows: 1. Difficulties in understanding and enforcing the new law caused by the complexity of definition 2. Inhibitive effect on the work of scientific institutions and the chemical industry 3. General ineffectiveness of prohibition as a public health tool This work will also address some of the arguments made by the Dutch government in favor of passing the update to the Opium Act and demonstrate their weakness.
The draft to the NPS wetgeving can be found here, please comment there aswell: https://www.internetconsultatie.nl/opiumwet_nps
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