House Committee Approves Date-Rape Drug Legislation
On Thursday, the House Commerce Committee approved legislation that would make it illegal to use, manufacture, distribute, or dispense gamma hydroxybutyrate (often called the “date-rape” drug).
This bill would make GHB one of the most controlled substances regulated under the Controlled Substances Act. Just a few drops of the drug, which is colorless and odorless, can cause a person to lose consciousness within 20 minutes. Victims of this drug often have little or no memory of the incident and it is hard to trace.
According to a survey conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), from 1992 to 1996, the number of hospital emergency visits resulting from use ofthis drug increased from 20 to 629. The author of the bill, Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) noted, "This is a nightmare no family wants to experience. This is a major problem across the country. We need to end this."
This legislation would make it illegal to possess, manufacture, distribute or dispense the drug. Those caught with it could face a maximum of 20 years in jail for the first offense.
Media Resources: Nando Times and AP - August 5, 1999