Japanese Ecstasy(?)
May 29, 2012 8:32 PM   Subscribe

What is this Japanese ecstasy-like drug I'm hearing about?

I live in Tokyo. The other day a friend of mine told me about this drug that seemed to mimic the effects of ecstasy. From the description, the user feels euphoric, they can't shut up, and sex becomes a religious experience. He showed me where to buy it (a shop no bigger than a closet) and the salesman assured us that it was legal and wonderful. My friend has done it a few times and is pressuring me to try, but I'm not comfortable with it just yet.

I'm curious, what is it exactly? Is it actually legal? And, is it dangerous?
posted by princeoftheair to Health & Fitness (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Bath salts? Dangerous as all hell.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 8:56 PM on May 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I've read the stories and know people who had friends forcibly deported the day after they were arrested for possession, so I'm aware of the risks. I'm not really chomping at the bit to try it, but it seems like a legit recreational as opposed to ecstasy or weed. I heard that some kind of hallucinogenic mushroom was legal about 10 (?) years ago, and this stuff is being sold in major areas like Shinjuku and Shibuya with signs outside advertising their availability, not from some back-alley dealer.
posted by princeoftheair at 9:38 PM on May 29, 2012

Best answer: If you don't know the answer to the OP's questions (what is it? Is it legal?), your conjecture is not helpful and you shouldn't answer with a guesswork opinion.

OP, I believe the substance might be "spice". There's an article about it here.

Alternately, it could be MDAI, or some other unknown substance. Also be aware that laws are changing and moving all the time in this respect, in Japan as in elsewhere. Spice may be illegal now too, I think.
posted by smoke at 9:42 PM on May 29, 2012

For an example about shifting legalties for designer drugs, there's a recent article here.
posted by smoke at 9:43 PM on May 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

Mod note: Some comments deleted; if you can help answer the actual specific questions, great -- if not please don't turn this into a general discussion about drug laws in Japan/US.
posted by taz (staff) at 10:16 PM on May 29, 2012

Mushrooms were legal. They were later banned, and now carry the same penalty for possession as heroin (roughly a six year prison sentence, if I recall). The drugs for sale in Shibuya and Shinjuku are pretty much chemists playing cat and mouse games with drug laws. As soon as the people in charge of enacting drug laws figure them out, they'll be banned, too. And the people making them will change a couple bits of the recipe, and sell it as something else.

If you're really interested in trying them, just remember that these aren't things that are being made in a careful, clean environment, and they sure as hell haven't gone through any kind of trials to make sure that they don't cause serious damage down the line. Honestly, knowing what I know of living here, and having friends deported for drugs, I really don't think it's worth the risk.
posted by Ghidorah at 10:21 PM on May 29, 2012

princeoftheair: "From the description, the user feels euphoric, they can't shut up, and sex becomes a religious experience."

That could be anything. MDMA has a lot of cousins (MDA and 2CB to name two). And doesn't really match MDMA. It sounds more like meth actually.

There's no way anyone can answer your question with any kind of certainty. The only one who can is the chemist who made it and, based on my research, sometimes those chemists aren't sure either.
posted by chairface at 10:32 PM on May 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

Meow meow? It's gradually being made illegal throughout the world...I believe it was made illegal here in the US about a year ago, not sure what it's status is in Japan.

Bottom line with any drug, if you're not comfortable trying it, then don't try it. Like someone somewhere once said, you can't untake a drug.
posted by newpotato at 5:06 AM on May 30, 2012

Could be Molly ?
posted by Katine at 1:37 PM on May 30, 2012

I don't suggest you take any recreational drug without knowing something about it first, whether through word-of-mouth or resources online. It does help that your friend tried it.

As far as identifying the substance here, that would be next to impossible (just look at the varied suggestions you're getting). It could be any number of substances and new ones are constantly being developed. Get an actual name, whether slang or something more formal, look around at erowid or Google.
posted by melt away at 6:39 AM on May 31, 2012

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