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Case law

A Dutch Court of appeal recently gave a decision in a case involving Fluoramfetamine. This chemical fell under the somewhat misleading category ‘legal highs’, which means that the chemical is not listed under the local Drug Abuse Act.  I mean misleading, because import and trade in such a legal high, may well constitute a violation of a Medicines Act.

With regard to legal highs, the legislation is continuously updated, in order to keep track of the latest developments. Just recently, (in July) Germany updated its list of forbidden chemicals, whereby 28 legal highs, were listed as forbidden psychoactive substances, among which e.g. fluoramfetamine. If  a consignment of such a chemical is just in transit, we expect that the “principle of most favoured nation” may become to play an important role in the discussion on its legitimacy. For more information, feel free to call us, or send us an email.

We would also like to point at a decision of 31 October 2012, a Dutch Court ruled that APAAN is not a “scheduled substance” in the spirit of the drug precursor EU-Regulations 273/2004 and 111/2005 and the Dutch Law Preventing the Abuse of Chemicals.

The case is about whether or not, the chemical Alpha phenylacetoacetonitril(le), hereafter referred to as APAAN, is recognized as a “scheduled substance” in the spirit of the EU‑Regulations 273/2004 and 111/2005.

Central to these regulations, is the definition of a “scheduled substance”. According to the definition, scheduled substances are all substances that are listed in Annex 1, including mixtures and natural products containing such substances, except certain medicinal products and pharmaceutical preparations containing scheduled substances that are compounded in such a way, that they cannot be easily used or extracted by readily applicable or economically viable means. (Article 2 of Regulation 273/2004).

APAAN itself is not listed, but the authorities argued that it can be easily transformed into the listed chemical BMK and (for the sake of completeness) the salts of this compound. The Court established that, from the comparison of the structural formula of APAAN with that of BMK, it follows that through the chemical conversion of APAAN to BMK, a part of the molecule is removed, the nitrile-group. The substance BMK is not found in APAAN.

BMK exists only after a chemical reaction of APAAN with sulfuric acid. For that reason, the Court ruled that APAAN does not directly fall under the drug precursor legislation and is therefore not recognized as a scheduled substance in the spirit of the Regulations 274/2004 and 111/2005.

We would like to add that a different Court may be of a different opinion, and we expect that the authorities will soon include APAAN in the list of drug precursors.

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