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Freebase

  • By: Bradley Finegood
  • In: Encyclopedia of Drug Policy
  • Edited by: Mark A. R. Kleiman & James E. Hawdon
  • Subject:Public Policy, Drug Crimes

Freebasing is a process used to increase the potency of licit and illicit drugs. Freebasing refers to the chemical process of freeing the base of a drug and reducing impurities in order to produce a form of a drug that can be heated or vaporized in order to smoke it. The evolution of freebasing drugs dates back to before modern chemistry. Archeologists have found evidence of freebasing going back hundreds of years. Modern chemistry in the mid-1950s and 1960s provided for mechanisms to change the way that drugs such as nicotine were distributed to the public, and led to more widespread knowledge of freebasing. In the 1960s scientists at Philip Morris found that by using ammonia, nicotine could be freed in nicotine smoke, providing a ...

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