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Ephedra
Legal Status
by Erowid
U.S. FEDERAL LAW #
Caution :   All legal information should be verified through other sources. [see below]
U.S. FEDERAL LEGAL SUMMARY
Ephedra spp.
REGULATED
No
STATUS
Contains FDA
Restricted Chemical
SCHEDULE
Un-Scheduled
Ephedra sinica is not specifically a controlled species in the United States. Live plants and seeds are bought and sold and are clearly legal in the US. Ephedra contains a racemic mixture of ephedrine (pseudoephedrine and ephedrine). Ephedrine is controlled for sale in many countries and states because it is a stimulant.

In December 2003, the US FDA, after a previous failed attempt, announced its intention to ban supplement products containing ephedra and its extracts. The final rule took effect on April 12, 2004 [Federal Register 69(28)]. This action followed several years of the FDA's work to ban ephedrine-containing supplements. The FDA cited health problems, including some deaths, as the primary reason for the ban on this category of supplements. There is speculation that the increased scrutiny on ephedrine is also related to the War on Drugs effort to reduce availability of methamphetamine precursors. The restriction only applies to preparations sold for human use and does not apply to whole plants or other non-ingestion uses.

In April 2005, a federal judge ordered the FDA to reconsider its ban of ephedra-containing products. However, in August 2006 the U.S. Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals overruled the lower judge and reinstated the FDA's ban on the sale of all ephedra-containing products for human consumption.


INTERNATIONAL LAW #
Germany #
Ephedra (herb) is controlled by the AMG (like FDA), available only by prescription. (Mar 2007) (unconfirmed) (thanks WB)
Netherlands #
Ephedrine and Ephedra-alkaloid containing extracts have been added to the list of substances which may only be prescribed by doctors in the Netherlands. Over-the-counter sales are illegal as of Apr 6, 2004. Rivm.nl, Ephedra.nu, drugsweb.nl. (thanks D, U)
If you have information about the legal status of this substance in any other country, please let us know.

CAUTION & DISCLAIMER #
Erowid legal information is a summary of data gathered from site visitors, government documents, websites, and other resources. We are not lawyers and can not guarantee the accuracy of the information provided here. We do our best to keep this information correct and up-to-date, but laws are complex and constantly changing. Laws may also vary from one jurisdiction to another (county, state, country, etc)...this list is not comprehensive.