Clinton Signs Tough Date Rape Law

Clinton Signs Tough Date Rape Law
Posted by FoM on February 18, 2000 at 16:35:33 PT
By The Associated Press
Source: New York Times
 President Clinton signed a bill Friday that would toughen federal laws for possession and distribution of a powerful ``date rape'' drug. GHB, or gamma hydroxybutyrate, has been linked to at least 58 deaths since 1990 and more than 5,700 recorded overdoses, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration. 
A few drops of the colorless, odorless drug are usually slipped into a drink. A victim who drinks it can lose consciousness within 20 minutes and often have no memory of what happened. The drug is difficult to trace, often leaving the body within 24 hours. Under the legislation, GHB would be placed in a category of drugs that are the most strictly regulated by the federal Controlled Substances Act. Anyone who possesses, manufactures or distributes GHB could face a prison term of up to 20 years. The legislation would give the DEA authority for the first time to seek federal criminal prosecutions against those possessing and distributing the drug, DEA officials said. Exceptions would be made for GHB clinical studies approved by the Food and Drug Administration to determine whether the drug helps with medical problems such as narcolepsy, a sleeping disorder. The legislation also places tougher monitoring controls on the distribution of GBL, a component of GHB, to try to prevent its diversion for illegal uses. GBL has commercial applications including being used as a paint remover and dietary supplement. Some products containing GBL have been promoted with unsubstantiated claims to build muscles, enhance sex, reduce stress or induce sleep. GHB, which can give users a high, also has been mixed in bathtubs at parties, and instructions on how to make it can be easily obtained over the Internet, authorities say. GHB already is a controlled substance in 20 states. The bill is named for two teen-agers who died after GHB was slipped into their soft drinks. One of the girls, 15-year-old Samantha Reid, died last year after the drug was put in her soda at a party in Grosse Ile, Mich. Trial is under way in Detroit for four men charged with manslaughter in her death. The other girl, 17-year-old Hillory J. Farias of La Porte, Texas, died in 1996 after having a soft drink laced with GHB at a nightclub. Washington (AP)Published: February 18, 2000Copyright 2000 The New York Times Company Related Articles on GHB: Text: NIDA On New Campaign Against Club Drugs Senate Bill Makes GHB A Controlled Substance
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