Ask Erowid

Ask a Question

Find an answer:

View By Category

Search Ask Erowid
Search Vaults

Enter a keyword in the search field above to look up a question or answer on a specific topic.

Off-Site Psychoactive Question Resources
  Ask Dr Shulgin

Resources at Erowid
  Plants & Drugs
  Freedom & Law
  Mind & Spirit
  Arts & Sciences
  Library / Bookstore
  What's New
  About Erowid
Is 2C-I illegal in New Zealand?
Q: Is 2C-I illegal in New Zealand? I don't see it listed in the law, but I heard that someone was arrested and prosecuted for selling it.

A: Although 2C-I is not specifically listed in New Zealand law as controlled, there is a story about a man who ran into trouble importing small quantities into the country on The next demon drug and our reading of New Zealand analogue drug law (see below) is that 2C-I, when intended for human consumption, is controlled in that country.

New Zealand drug law uses a series of catch-all sections that make many chemicals not listed in the law potentially controlled. There is a section labeled "part 7" that lists a series of rules for defining "analogues" which may ban many of the psychoactive (and non-psychoactive!) phenethylamines and amphetamines. Britain passed a phenethylamine 'catch all' rule in 2002, details of which can be found in the U.K. Law Vault that is similar, but not identical to, this New Zealand law.

The section from the New Zealand Schedule 3 / Class C states:

AMPHETAMINE ANALOGUES, in which the 1-amino-2-phenylethane nucleus carries any of the following radicals, either alone or in combination:

(a)1 or 2 alkyl radicals, each with up to 6 carbon atoms, attached to the nitrogen atom:

(b)1 or 2 methyl radicals, or an ethyl radical, attached to the carbon atom adjacent to the nitrogen atom:

(c)A hydroxy radical, attached to the carbon atom adjacent to the benzene ring:

(d)Any combination of up to 5 alkyl radicals and/or alkoxy radicals and/or alkylamino radicals (each with up to 6 carbon atoms, including cyclic radicals) and/or halogen radicals and/or nitro radicals and/or amino radicals, attached to the benzene ring.

This section would include many (all?) of the chemicals listed in PiHKAL and would include many that are not listed. It depends on how the section is supposed to be read (and is read by the New Zealand courts). Unfortunately we know next to nothing about New Zealand case law.

If the law is saying that the presence of the listed "radicals" (which we assume simply means one or more atoms other than hydrogen?) is sufficient, by itself, to make something controlled if it is on the phenethylamine nucleus, reglardless of what else it might be attached to, then it is very broad indeed.

For example, the law does not list "alkythio" radicals, which, at the 4-position would be all of the 2C-T's. But they are probably saying that any of the radicals listed, when attached to the specific core molecule, turn the chemical into a Schedule 3 controlled substance in New Zealand, regardless of what else is attached to the molecule, possibly even if it is part of a protein or other large molecule.

Another example is pseudoephedrine, which fits these rules. Did they intend to put pseudoephedrine into Schedule 3? Pseudoephedrine is sold over the counter in New Zealand (now only in Pharmacies) so perhaps it is excluded from these rules in some other section?

The main qualification to these incredibly broad definitions (there are a number of other equally-broad definitions of analogues based on other structures) are in subsection 29C of the Misuse of Drugs Act. See New Zealand Analogue Law.

Section 29C appears to limit what is considered an "analogue", but it is also so broad as to seem to include nearly everything. The section provides a positive defense to an analaogue charge if one is either 1) not intending to have a pharmacological effect AND not giving it to anyone else OR 2) using it in some approved way.

This leaves the possibility that it is possible to simply possess a chemical considered an analogue under the broad definitions without violating the law until they formulate the intent to ingest it. The "pharmacological effect" rule is also an incredibly low bar, since even water and air have "pharmacological effects" in that they affect the pharmacology of the human body. There is little that could be said not to have a "pharmacological effect" if this term isn't defined clearly in some other section of the law or understood by the courts of New Zealand to mean something much more narrow than the standard English-language meaning.

Perhaps someone knowledgable in New Zealand law could let us know how often this section of the act is actually used and whether edge cases have been considered.

Asked By : anonymous
Answered By : earth, bman
Published Date : 10 / 16 / 2006
Last Edited Date : 11 / 12 / 2009
Question ID : 3086

Categories: [ Law ] [ 2C-I ]

Ask Erowid v1.7 - Jul, 2005

(content and html © the Vaults of Erowid. Please ask permission before publicly reproducing.)