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Highway to Die
by Jeff Edelstein
Feb 24, 2002
Originally published in The Trentonian
It's chemical name is 2C-T-7. On the street, it's known as Blue Mystic, Beautiful, 7-Up, Tripstasy and Tweety Bird Mescaline.

It's the hot new designer drug. It's been blamed for at least three deaths. And it's perfectly legal.

"Currently, 2C-T-7 is unscheduled and uncontrolled in the United States, making it technically legal to possess," reads a DEA bulletin.

The DEA knows so little about the drug that much of the information about 2C-T-7 on the bulletin comes from Erowid.com, a website dedicated to drug recipes, stories, and, in its own words, its attempt to "document the complex relationship between humans and psychoactives."

In the case of 2C-T-7, the DEA and users describe it as a mix between Ecstasy and LSD, with wide-ranging effects.

"Sense of well-being, emotional opening, significant closed- and open- eye visuals, increased appreciation of music, general change in consciousness, pupil dilation, change in perception of time and visual/aural hallucinations," the DEA said ina report that some might view as positive hype.

"Nausea, vomiting, muscle tension, tremors, convulsions, memory loss, delirium, violent behavior, death," the DEA continues, highlighting the possible negative impacts.

The drug is usually taken orally, with 10-50 milligrams being the typical dose. Most people take it in pill form, and the average pill is 7 milligrams. It can also be snorted, though the DEA, as well as many people posting on Erowid.com">Erowid.com, discourage taking the drug in that manner.

"Few users know what constitutes a safe dose," according to a flier prepared by the New Jersey Prevention Network. "The difference between a fun evening and an ugly death is a few milligrams of powder."

The drug, which NJPN calls a "killer," is making the rounds of rave scenes across the country and is bought over the Internet.

The NJPN, in fact, hosted a conference Friday in Atlantic City that tackled club drugs, OxyContin and 2C-T-7.

The conference attracted DEA officers, state police leaders, hospital administrators and others who might encounter the drug.

And it was the first many had heard of the drug.

"I've never heard of it before," said New Jersey State Police Lt. Col. Vincent Modarelli. "And as long as it's not illegal, there's nothing law enforcement can do about it, except provide information to people who might be users."

The drug, while legal, may be open to prosecution in New Jersey under the Analog Act, said Sgt. Bob Bratty of the state police narcotics force.

"We might be able to prosecute it," Bratty said, "because it's an analog of 2C-B, which is a controlled substance."

Meaning, 2C-T-7 shares some chemical properties with 2C-B, and as such, is open to possible prosecution.

But no local, state or federal prosecutions have ever been initiated on the drug.

The three deaths associated with the drug occurred after heavy use, according to a Rolling Stone article.

Josh Robbins, 17, of Cordova, Tenn., died after snorting over 35 milligrams of 2C-T-7 and mixing it with Ecstasy and ephedrine.

Jacob Duroy, 20, of Norman, Okla., died after also snorting 35 milligrams, and a 24-year-old Seattle man died after taking a 2C-T-7 pill and mixing it with Ecstasy.