The first Workshop was held at the remote country property of former Australian Attorney General, Kep Enderby QC. The average age of participants was 80 years, although some were in their 90s. Several who participated were seriously ill.
Setting out to manufacture one’s own barbiturate Peaceful Pill exposes those involved to significant legal risk with jail and fines of up to half a million dollars. In most western countries there are myriad laws that make it an offence to manufacture, possess, sell, supply and import certain narcotic and psychotropic drugs.
Penalties depend upon the amount of the drug involved, but usually range from two years jail and a fine, to life imprisonment. In the Peanut Project, there was another additional legal question. If one member of the group ever died using the substance the group had collectively made, would the remaining members be guilty of having assisted with that person’s suicide?
It was stated clearly at the start, that no one in the initial group would make more than they needed for themselves. No one was making a Pill for someone else, and no one would sell any of the substance manufactured. Finally, no one would acquire more than 10gm of the manufactured barbiturate (the common lethal dose). Any excess would be destroyed.