"We report the first example of selective Pd-catalyzed mono-α-arylation of acetone employing aryl chlorides, bromides, iodides, and tosylates. The use of appropriately designed P,N-ligands proved to be the key to controlling the reactivity and selectivity. The reaction affords good yields with substrates containing a range of functional groups at modest Pd loadings using Cs2CO3 as the base and employing acetone as both a reagent and the solvent."In other words, there is a simple, cheap and efficient route to the amphetamine structure.
To understand what I mean, here is the author's drawing of the chemistry described in the paper,
I've blogged about this sort of thing before in "No Future For Cocaine": I discussed the change of the source of drugs of 'abuse' from natural to synthetic. This chemistry is part of this thrust of technology; drugs of abuse will become yet more cheaper, their control will slip from the hands of drug Barons into the hands of technically minded crooks where they will be manufactured locally. Massive drug importations will be left to state actors (see the work of Alfred McCoy), whilst there will be a steady and continuing transistion from global to local.
Watch this space for updates.
3.89 MB pdf with procedures etc ... expect to see on Erowid very soon.