Breaking Bad: Japan prof 'made students produce ecstasy'

The students were encouraged to make the drugs as part of their education
The students were encouraged to make the drugs as part of their education

A Japanese university professor could face up to 10 years in jail after allegedly getting his students to produce ecstasy, officials said Wednesday, in an echo of TV hit series "Breaking Bad".

Authorities suspect the 61-year-old pharmacology professor from Matsuyama University in western Japan got his pupils to make MDMA—commonly known as ecstasy—in 2013 and another so-called "" 5F-QUPIC last year.

The professor told investigators he was aiming to further the "education" of his pharmaceutical sciences students, an official from the local health ministry told AFP.

The ecstasy allegedly produced has not been found and has "probably been discarded," added this official, who asked to remain anonymous.

If charged and convicted, he could face 10 years behind bars.

Japanese law states that a researcher needs a licence issued by regional authorities to manufacture narcotics for academic purposes.

The synthetic drug MDMA acts as a stimulant and hallucinogen and is the main ingredient in party drug , giving users a heightened sense of energy, empathy and pleasure.

It has recently been used in research trials exploring its effectiveness in treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

5F-QUPIC, also known as 5F-PB-22, is a cannabis-like banned in Japan in 2014 after it was suspected of causing traffic accidents.

It is unclear if there were any other similarities between the case of the Matsuyama University professor and that of Walter White, the fictitious hero of "Breaking Bad".

White, played by Bryan Cranston, was a former chemistry teacher diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer who starts manufacturing crystal methamphetamine to pay for his treatment and provide for his family—sometimes with the help of a former pupil.

Explore further

EU drug agency: Ecstasy is making a comeback among the young

© 2019 AFP

Citation: Breaking Bad: Japan prof 'made students produce ecstasy' (2019, April 17) retrieved 24 September 2019 from
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Feedback to editors

User comments

Apr 17, 2019
Chemistry students have been making forbidden chemicals for as long as chemistry has been around. It is part and parcel to being such a student. You can't forbid people from learning how to make fairly simple drugs when their education requires them to have that ability. Might as well try to ban the creation of alcohol.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more