Monday, August 19, 2013


In 1999 ketamine was made a schedule III controlled substance in the United States. In the following years China, a major exporter of ketamine, also subjected the chemical to more stringent control and Sichuan began to formally regulate export of ketamine in 2004. If you look at posts on various drug forums during the period between 2002 and 2004 it is frequently stated that China prohibited non-medical export of the hydrochloride salt but not the freebase resulting in laboratories vending the freebase form exclusively:
[There was] a funny window where China had scheduled ketamine HCl but not the base, so that took up the slack.
- J, 2013
There is also alot of Ketamine freebase comming out of china these days, it is diff than the typical ketamine hcl (salt)
(this is because exporting ketamine hcl was outlawed so they just switched to the freebase)
- shroomy, 2002

For some reason people seem to be able to get lots of this ketamine freebase now-a-days. is there some sort of different legal status for this stuff then for the HCL form?
- pberezansky, 2003 
There used to be a big import market from China, but there was a clamp down and now China only exports Freebase Ketamine and not Hydrachroide. Freebase is much harder to use and has to be converted into the salt.
- budda, 2004
There are also an abundance of threads and teks from that period detailing the conversion of ketamine freebase to the hydrochloride salt aimed at scientifically untrained ketamine users in possession of the freebase. This is all to say I believe there is sufficient (indirect) evidence to support the idea that this practice was taking place in China in the early 2000s, my question is whether any of you (readers) can help me find direct evidence that China controlled the HCl salt of ketamine but not the drug itself––effectively prohibiting the chloride counterion––which is ridiculous. If anyone reading this speaks Chinese or could direct me to a lawyer familiar with Chinese drug law during that period, help would be greatly appreciated.

I want to substantiate the claim that ketamine hyrdrochloride, but not the freebase, was legally controlled in China during the early/mid 2000s. 


Lord Trumpington said...

I can speak Chinese, what do you need me to translate?

Hamilton Morris said...

Well, as suggested in the above post, it would be helpful if you could translate news articles or relevant legal texts pertaining to the status of ketamine in China in the early 2000s. Because of the language barrier it is difficult for me to even search for this material in the first place.

Lord Trumpington said...

4. "On further strengthening of ketamine management notice" (State Food and Drug Safety [2004] No. 325), the State Food and Drug Administration July 5, 2004 release, the provisions of ketamine (including its possible salts and preparation) as the first psychotropic drug administration, narcotic drugs into the operating channel operation, from 15 July 2004 onwards, medical institutions with "narcotic drugs, psychotropic drugs first purchase with signature card" from narcotic drugs ventures buy ketamine preparations. .
A series of documents from the above provisions can be seen that our formulation of ketamine administration can be divided into several stages.
Phase I: May 9, 2001 - October 31, 2003, at this stage, according to prescription drug management ketamine preparations in medical institutions with a doctor's prescription, retail pharmacies may not operate.
Phase II: November 1, 2003 - July 4, 2004, ketamine preparations according to the second category of psychotropic drug administration, does not have the second category of psychotropic drugs wholesale qualified pharmaceutical wholesale enterprises shall operate or not operate drug retail enterprises also ketamine preparations.
Stage: after 5 July 2004, ketamine (including and possible salts and preparations) included in the first category of psychotropic substances management, from 15 July 2004 onwards, ketamine, ketamine drug production enterprises must be sold to a preparation level narcotics venture into business channels narcotic drugs, medical institutions with "narcotic drugs, psychotropic drugs first purchase with signature card" from narcotics enterprises buy ketamine preparations.

Lord Trumpington said...

Sorry for the shitty google translate but basically it said that in July of 2003, freebase ketamine and all of it's salts and preparations are type 2 psychotropic drugs and can only be purchased with special permits.

Based on the goverment's own words, it appears that the law controls all forms of Ketamine the same.

Lord Trumpington said...

July 2004 typo*

Hamilton Morris said...

Thanks, that's very helpful. Can you link the source? I would very much like to see the wording that would have excluded control of freebase ketamine.

Lord Trumpington said...

Leah Graham said...

I think that Ketamine is used for general anesthesia in decades.

Steve Gill said...

Was the same here but the opposite with Methylamine - the base gas or solution in water was heavily regulated, but you could buy all the hydrochloride you couldn truck away until 2000 or so....

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