(Received 29 May 1986; accepted 9 August 1986)
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Illicit methamphetamine clandestinely synthesized from ephedrine via reduction of chloroephedrine is discussed. The stereochemistry, mechanism, synthetic impurities, and analysis of clandestine methamphetamine samples is addressed. Stereochemical relation of (+)methamphetamine to its initial precursor (−)ephedrine or (+)pseudoephedrine is achieved by detection of (+)chloropseudoephedrine or cis-1,2-dimethyl-3-phenylaziridine, in the case of the first, and (-)chloroephedrine or trans-1,2-dimethyl-3-phenylaziridine in the case of the latter.
Forensic chemist, Drug Enforcement Administration, Western Field Laboratory, San Francisco, CA
Forensic chemist, Drug Enforcement Administration, Southeast Field Laboratory, Miami, FL
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