3D Printing Laboratories: The Age of DIY Designer Drugs Begins
Apr 26, 2012, Nikki Olson, Ethical Technology
Novel techniques in 3D printing technology simplify the production of drugs, enabling home design and synthesis of pharmaceuticals.
Refinement of drug synthesis processes via reactionware will facilitate the creation of novel compounds with the characteristics of scheduled substances, as well as circumvent the need to obtain less accessible compounds. Also, legislation such as the “Combat Methamphetamine Act of 2005” (an act regulating the purchase of pseudoephedrine) will become less effective in preventing the production of illicit substances, since more and more, those wishing to consume such substances would be able to create them themselves, only purchasing small amounts of precursor substances. Attempts to regulate the sharing of CAD designs and instructions will also be ineffective. Regulatory agencies might attempt forcing central sharing hubs of CAD designs and instructions to shut down; however, exchange of this type of information is easily done over P2P anonymous networks, using decentralized currencies such as Bitcoin (methods used by online drug purchasing hub Silkroad). In addition, the printing hardware itself requires no special parts and is easy to obtain. Cronin and his team, for instance, are using a modified, commercially available, 3D printer.
This text only mentions bitcoin, but I thought that the overall spirit of regulation vs. freedom (and looming doom of the former) makes it somewat relevant for the community.