The US FDA has issued a request for comment notification asking for input on ten compounds which are being considered for action by the World Health Organization. Under the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances the WHO is tasked with recommending (to the United Nations) whether or not international controls should be enacted for various recreationally abused substances.
This is a chance to observe some of the sausage making for the fans of drug policy.
the Thirty-fifth Expert Committee on Drug Dependence will meet from 20 to 23 April 2009 to review the following substances:
- Gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB)
- N-benzylpiperazine (BZP)
- 1-(3-trifluoromethylphenyl)piperazine (TFMPP)
- 1-(3-chlorophenyl)piperazine (mCPP)
- 1-(4-Methoxyphenyl)piperazine (MeOPP)
- 1-(3,4-methylenedioxybenzyl)piperazine (MDBP)
Clearly they are focused heavily on the piperazine derivatives which have both stimulant/euphoric and hallucinogenic properties, depending on the compound. Some of these were recently legal in NZ leading to a competitive marketing situation.
The last two are GHB prodrugs, meaning they are converted to GHB once ingested. There's some interesting research looking at just how this works, how it influences abuse potential relative to GHB, endogenous mechanisms which are affected by exogenous GHB, etc.
The report arising from the 2002 meeting of the Thirty-Third Expert Committee may give some flavor of the type of recommendations that are issued.
return to huntAs I said, sausage making. Interesting to see how long it takes public policy to emerge in the wake of the emergence of recreational use bubbles/fads and in the wake of supporting scientific studies as well. This may or may not be informative to those who think that agencies regulate first and ask about the scope of the problem later.