We all know getting cold medications with the active ingredient pseudoephedrine, like Sudafed, is a huge pain in the ass today but fortune has shined upon us as it is actually an easy to synthesize from N-methylamphetamine [PDF]:
A quick search of several neighborhoods of the United States revealed that while pseudoephedrine is difficult to obtain, N-methylamphetamine can be procured at almost any time on short notice and in quantities sufficient for synthesis of useful amounts of the desired material. Moreover, according to government maintained statistics, Nmethylmphetamine is becoming an increasingly attractive starting material for pseudoephedrine, as the availability of Nmethylmphetamine has remained high while prices have dropped and purity has increased . We present here a convenient series of transformations using reagents which can be found in most well stocked organic chemistry laboratories to produce psuedoephedrine from N-methylamphetamine.
I love irony. A hat tip goes to Uncle for this handy guide.