Printer Friendly

Legal Chemicals Being Used for Date Rape.

Twenty states have passed laws to protect women from the effects of the date rape drug, GHB, but almost as soon as the statutes were signed, criminals found ways to use perfectly legal substitutes. These odorless, tasteless chemicals mix easily in drinks and render the victim unconscious. GHB also has cropped up on college campuses and at rave (all-night dance) parties.

To combat these GHB substitutes, legislators in Pennsylvania strengthened their "analogue" statutes by enlarging them to include chemicals that have "substantially similar structures or substantially similar effects."

A prior state law, one of the strongest date rape statutes in the nation, makes use of any substance to facilitate sexual assault a first-degree felony. Senator Jane Earll and Representative Thomas Gannon used that law as a springboard to successfully draft the new law that bans analogue drugs such as the GHB substitutes. The lawmakers also said that legislators should turn to an overlooked part of the federal Controlled Substances Act, which allows enactment of a "controlled substance analogue statute."

One of the more worrisome analogues of GHB is a widely used chemical solvent, gamma butyrolactone (GBL). Last year, more than 140 million pounds of GBL was produced for industrial uses. It's not supposed to be used as a drug. But drink GBL and it turns into GHB inside the body. It can be sold as GHB for three times its price by dealers.

Another chemical, 1,4 BD (1,4 butanediol) has also appeared on the illicit drug scene. It too turns to GHB when ingested. Last year, more than 800 million pounds of 1,4 BD were made for use as an industrial degreaser and in making plastics.

Scientific papers easily available on the Internet have identified other legal chemicals that turn to GHB after ingestion. And it's only a matter of time before drug dealers switch to using them. Earll and Gannon say that an analogue statute modeled after the federal language is the best way states can get out in front of this issue.
COPYRIGHT 2001 National Conference of State Legislatures
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2001, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:State Legislatures
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 1, 2001
Words:337
Previous Article:Illinois Proposes New Gender Violence Act.
Next Article:A LIBRARY IN THE LAND OF LINCOLN.
Topics:


Related Articles
HANDWRITING ANALYSIS ORDERED IN SIMI VALLEY TEEN SEX CASE.
Contruyendo el acceso de las mujeres a los servicios de interrupcion legal del embarazo en los casos de violacion. (Other Material: Healthlink...
Foundation for women and acitivities in 2002.
Rape, statutory rape, and child abuse: legal distinctions and counselor duties.
Sex Without Consent: Rape and Sexual Coercion in America.
The International Criminal Court: an opportunity for women.
Stop violence against women: the problem is social, not personal.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2018 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters