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Tryptamines & Phenethylamines - Legal Status


I am currently researching a paper for my masters on the Human Rights Act and the use of drugs, with particular reerence to the psychadelics/entheogens. I came by your sight via the 2ct7 query.... I was disappointed to find out about about the "catch all" clause. There is a plethora of UK sites out there giving the impression that the rarer tryptamines and phenylethylamines (such as Mescaline and 2ct7) are not covered by the MoDA 1971. Now you have inspired me to go out and check it once and for all myself! may as well put my law degree to good use! Mind you, I`ll have to get together with a chemist to sort it out!


Re: tryptamines/phenethylamines, you would need to be a chemist to understand the law properly. The clauses in the MDA schedules would best be described as 'catch-most' rather than 'catch all' as alkoxy groups could be replaced with alk-thio groups (sulphur, rather than oxygen), or other substitutions used. I have had disputes with forensic scientists over the legality/illegality of particular compounds in the past.

Most Tryptamines and Phenethylamines are covered by 'catch-all' clauses in the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, Schedule 2 part 1 (b & c) - as amended from time to time.

(b) any compound...structurally derived from tryptamine or from a ring-hydroxy tryptamine by substitution at the nitrogen atom of the sidechain with one or more alkyl substituents but with no other substituent.

(c) any compound...structurally derived from phenethylamine (or several alkyl-phenethylamines) by substitution in the ring to any extent with alkyl, alkoxy, alkylenedioxy or halide substituents, whether or not further substituted in the ring by one or more univalent substituents.

Taking your compounds in turn:

2CT2 (Shulgin #40) - This may well be caught by (c), although the sulphur atom should arguably cause it to fall outside the legislation. A borderline case. Note there was more recent revision of the prohibited list around 18 months ago, this compound may or may not have been specified within that list (which I do not currently have to hand).

nn-dipropyl tryptamine - this clearly falls within (b), and is a class A drug - the propyl groups are alkyl substitutents.

5-Methoxy-alphamethyltryptamine '5 MEO-AMT' - this also appears to fall within (b) as a class A drug.

I hope this information is helpful. You could also ask the Home Office or Forensic Science Service for a definitive answer - but you could run the risk of any currently 'legal' compound being added to the next update of the schedules.

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