FYI: this is just me rambling about Polish bit of legislation from 2004 about reduced access to the drug, poison and explosives precursors. It's long, it's likely boring and you know the drill at this point. Read at your own risk, by all means, comment if you like or don't like what I said.
So, this is something many among you (ones living in the USA or Canada in particular) could find as shocking, but there are places where you can't buy most inorganic acids. And the ones you can buy are diluted to a point of near uselessness. Sulphuric acid? Yeah, if you are OK with the 30% battery-grade one. Hydrochloric (muriatic) acid? Fuck off! You want that to make drugs, aren't you?! Methanol? See above.
Oddly enough, I can buy 99% toluene from a hardware store. It's on a more restricted list than most drug precursors, but because of the trace sulphur impurity it's suddenly 'safe'. No, it isn't. Everyone who isn't a clueless legislator knows it. Or perhaps I'm not giving them enough credit?
Of course, it's not that we suddenly don't have any of those chemicals. They just aren't available to any private entity. And here's the main problem with the legislation: I could open a carpet cleaning business, buy whole barrel loads of that stuff, claim bankruptcy and as long I can pay off the debts and fees, I can keep all the things I bought. Seriously, I even checked it with a lawyer (family friend). So it doesn't stop anyone who isn't sleazy. But that's not for me. Apart from the fact I need maybe a few things in fairly small quantities, I don't want to have a police ride in the house next time they'll have a drug bust anywhere nearby.
But you can make most of this stuff. How? Well, you can buy any laboratory-grade glass and instruments as a private entity. If you pay in cash, then it's even an anonymous transaction. The only reason anyone wanted my name, was to contact me when the stuff I ordered wasn't on hand and they had to get it in. I wasn't carded at any time, so I'm guessing that unless I'd say something outrageous (like Anonymus van Pseudonym), they would take any name. Now all you need is to know a bit about chemistry, find the relevant documents and do your own chemicals. Muriatic acid? Leblanc process attached to a water-based air scrubber (tip: do multiple iterations of scrubbing. It's a lot safer and you get more, progressively more diluted, acid). Methanol? Bulk pyrolysis of the wood. Almost everything is obtainable, one way or another. Chemists had to do a lot of the legwork before lab supply companies were just delivering that stuff.
So who is even prevented from doing chemistry? That's easy: people who are or/and: lazy, uneducated, unmotivated, incapable of research or extremely cheap*. You know, the people who are most likely to end up injuring or killing themselves or others due to negligence. Or people who would just buy this stuff and lose interest in two days. And you have to know your stuff to store some of those chemicals in a manner that's safe.
Honestly, it's almost genius in design. The only people who stick with it are nerds who likely started from wanting to make stuff like nitroglycerin or thermite but ended up reading on common ion effect, substance separation, cooling mechanisms and (from today perspective) rather obscure chemistry bits and texts. If you want to pursue chemistry in any way other than pure theory, then you have to be resourceful, do the research and have the passion. You have to learn about methods used in labs in XIX century because today no self-respecting lab would make some of those chemicals in-house (why waste time if you can get it for pocket change per cannister?). It's as if this dumb legislation was made to increase the numbers of chemistry and science nerds!
Even if it's only one person per school, and only half of them would go to study chemistry (or pharmacology, heh), that's still a considerable amount of people passionate about chemistry and science out of spite and as a response to artificial limitations. What could be better?
Well, chemistry sets come to mind. Even back when those had any acids or volatile solvents in them, they were more expensive than the street value of anything you could make with it. But I guess it's about preventing drug lords, not small guys. Not that it worked that well, considering the above points.
* - Or poor. That's the only detriment. Though, it's not like I'm swimming in cash myself.