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The Legislatures of California, Massachusetts, Hawaii, Florida, Georgia, Rhode Island, Nevada and Texas have recently (1997) criminalized GHB (as have at least a dozen other states). Many other states have bills pending that may or may not have been passed at the time you read this. In Rhode Island, Georgia, Texas, Hawaii, Michigan, Nevada and likely other states, GHB has become a Schedule-I drug. This means that no medical use is allowed in these states, even if prescribed by a duly licensed physician, and that possession is a felony crime. Keep that in mind as you read the following articles, reports and letters, or if you are interested in using GHB yourself.

The legality of assigning Schedule-I status to a simple carbohydrate nutritional substance which occurs naturally in the foods that we must eat to survive is questionable to say the least. The Schedule-I classification is supposed to be reserved for substances with no medical value, which certainly does not apply to GHB. Legally, Schedule-I status is an absolute ban on both possession and use, meaning that any amount of a Schedule-I substance causes the entire possessed product, commodity or mixture to become a Schedule-I substance. Since beef contains GHB, beef is a Schedule-I substance in states where GHB is Schedule-I. This is probably illegal on both Constitutional and common-law grounds. When we consider that all meat foods (see forensic-test evidence) and many vegetable foods probably contain GHB, the laws scheduling GHB become utterly indefensible.

Recently (1999), lawmakers have started to criminalize butyrolactone, one of the “greenest” of the solvents. Butyrolactone is a chemically dehydrated form of GHB which spontaneously converts to GHB in the presence of water. The states of Florida and California, and possibly other states, have passed legislation to criminalize the possession of what can only be described as an industrial commodity of huge proportions. Read about this latest development in some of the letters below.

A Federal law (HR 2130) has passed both houses of Congress. This bill will establish Schedule-I status for GHB for the entire United States. The “poster child” for this bill is Hillory Farias. Read about her case below.

Several letters on this menu address serious legal problems with these GHB laws that might be used to defend citizens from GHB prosecutions by challenging the legality and Constitutionality of GHB criminalization laws. We welcome inquiries by lawyers, paralegal researchers and investigators.

Other letters are intended to put the police on notice that the GHB laws are overly broad, unenforceable and unconstitutional. Please feel free to adapt these letters for your own use. Individuals concerned about preserving their anonymity can call us for other options that don’t involve disclosing anybody else’s name or address.

At the very bottom of this page is an announcement of a book devoted to the subject of GHB, written by Dr. Ward Dean, John Morgenthaler and Steven Wm. Fowkes.

The following selections consist of articles, reports, editorials, letters, and Q&As from the question-and-answer department of Smart Life News. Readers are welcome to adapt any of these letters for their own correspondence with their state legislators, regulators and police. We also encourage anybody and everybody to send copies of these letters, or the GHB Report, to state and federal lawmakers. Please also feel free to send the editorials on the Hillory Farias fiasco to all Senators and Representatives.

Articles, Sidebars & Editorials

GHB (gamma-hydroxybutyrate). A complete feature article from a 1994 issue Smart Drug News.

GHB Madness, an editorial by Dr. Ward Dean and Steven Wm. Fowkes about this “reefer madness” of the 90s.

A Call to Action—Stop Criminalization of GHB! An editorial by Dr. Ward Dean.

GHB Madness, 2-Years Later. The most recent editorial by Steven Wm. Fowkes and Dr. Ward Dean and outlining some unusual and controversial developments in the GHB situation in Texas.

The Emergence of GHB Alternatives. A Smart Life Update by Steven Wm. Fowkes detailing how GHB prohibition is driving consumers to alternatives that are not as well studied as GHB, with unknown public-health consequences.

U.S. Congress Attempts to Criminalize Foods. The most recent Smart Life Update by Steven Wm. Fowkes detailing the new Federal law criminalizing GHB and GHB-containing foods and products, and its technical impact on citizens, parents, businesses, law-makers and police.

The Commercial Chemistry of GHB is a technical update on the presence of GHB and GHB analogs in polymer products widely sold throughout the world.

GHB Slated for FDA Approval in 2001 is a sidebar from the January 21st, 2001 issue of Smart Life News. It discusses the submission GHB’s New Drug Application and the FDA’s time frame for its approval. It also covers the pending federal unscheduling of GHB in 2001.

Another Case from an Incompetent Coroner is another sidebar from the January 21st issue of Smart Life News. It discusses Dr. Ward Dean’s investigations into alleged GHB deaths, and one especially eggregious case.

Questions and Answers

Are there some GHB analogs that might be worth trying?

In the state of Georgia, GHB is illegal. I have been using RenewTrient and gamma-butyrolactone for insomnia and depression with remarkable results. Do you think Georgia might consider these to be illegal?

In the Life Extension magazine’s Q&A column, Tom Matthews wrote that gamma-butyrolactone (GBL) “should not be taken supplementally but should only be used in the synthesis of GHB outside the body.” Any comments?

Can I take melatonin with RenewTrient?

Forensics

The following analysis of Texas beef provides legally valid evidence that scientific reports of GHB content in food are correct. Since beef is freely sold, even though it is technically as illegal as coca leaf, marijuana, heroin or morphine, the anti-GHB laws are being selectively enforced. This may be considered a violation of civil rights protected by the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Forensic Analysis of Beef supervised by Steven Wm. Fowkes and conducted by the Chemical Toxicology Institute of Foster City, California in February of 1999.

Reports and Letters

The following letters are grouped into related sections. The sections are ordered in chronological order. The latest letters are at the bottom of the page.

The following selections relate to GHB-criminalization bills before the California Legislature in the early part of 1997 (February and March). These bills passed overwhelmingly.

GHB Report to the California Legislature by Steven Wm. Fowkes.

Letter to Mr. Robert M. Hertzberg, Chairman, California Assembly Committee on Public Safety.

GHB Report cover letter to members of the California Assembly Committee on Public Safety.

Letter to Mr. Les Kleinberg, Counsel, Senate Committee on Criminal Procedure.

GHB Report cover letter to all members of the Senate Committee on Criminal Procedure.

GHB Report cover letter to members of the California Assembly Committee on Health.

Dr. Ward Dean’s letter to the California Assembly.

Dr. Ward Dean’s letter to Steven Wm. Fowkes about testifying to the Senate committee.

Letter from Alan Brauer, M.D. to Steven Fowkes about medical uses of GHB.

Letter from Steven Wm. Fowkes to the California Assembly Health Committee, after they had unanimously passed the bill providing for Schedule 1 status for GHB and before the Senate Committee on Criminal Procedure meeting to do the same, informing them of the unannounced re-scheduling of the Senate hearing and the adverse consequences of passing the bill as written.

The following selections relate to a new California law which criminalizes GHB-related substances (precursors, esters, ethers, isomers, and salts) as of January 1, 2000. This California law uses language which is very similar to the Georgia law. Other states may use different language which would necessitate significant changes in the contents of these letters before they would be applicable to other states’s bills or statutes.

Letter to Senator Byron Sher from Steven Wm. Fowkes about the legality of butyrolactone, acetone-free nail-polish remover, premium skin-care products, and polyester clothing.

Letter to Assemblyman Keith Honda from Steven Wm. Fowkes about the legislative intent behind the new law and its possible effect on the analog-drug statutes.

Letter to Les Kleinberg, Legislative Unit of the Department of Justice, from Steven Wm. Fowkes about the implementation and enforcement of the new law.

The following letters were sent to selected law enforcement officials in late 1999 to advise them of the full ramifications of the new California law which criminalizes precursors, esters, ethers, isomers, and salts of GHB as of January 1, 2000. These letters may be adapted to other jurisdictions and situations, but there is no guarantee that they will in any way deter selective enforcement of such laws.

Letter to Commander Peloso, Head of Narcotics for the Menlo Park Police Department from Steven Wm. Fowkes about the difficulties of compliance with uncertainties of the new law.

Letter to San Mateo County Sheriff Don Horsley from Steven Wm. Fowkes about the difficulties of compliance with the new law and the consequences of full enforcement.

Letter to the Attorney for the Ventura County Sheriffs Department from Steven Wm. Fowkes about possible legal and enforcement problems with the new law. (Sometimes an attorney handles legal issues for police and sometimes a “legal officer” is assigned this responsibility.)

The following two letters relate to a new Pennsylvania law which will criminalize GHB and GHB-related substances (esters, ethers, isomers, and salts, specifically excepting butyrolactone) in the early months of 2000. The specific language of these letters might require changes before they would be applicable to other states’s bills or statutes.

Letter to Troy Beaverson, Director of Legislative Affairs for the Office of the Pennsylvania Attorney General, from Steven Wm. Fowkes about the scheduling and legality of butyrolactone, acetone-free nail-polish remover, premium skin-care products, polymer plastics and GHB-containing foods.

Letter to Bob Merski, Sheriff of Erie County about enforcement problems with the new Pennsylvania law establishing Schedule-I status for GHB and GHB-related substances.

The following two letters, written in early 2000, deal with the new federal law (HR 2130) which establishes Schedule-I status for GHB and List-I status for GBL. The first was written to U.S. Representative Anna Eshoo and carbon-copied to U.S. Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein. The second letter was written to U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno.

Letter to Anna Eshoo, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from the San Francisco peninsula, from Steven Wm. Fowkes, about the scope and consequences of HR 2130 (which was passed with only two dissenting votes).

Letter to Janet Reno, Attorney General for the United States, from Steven Wm. Fowkes about the legality of some parts of HR 2130, enforcement problems from GHB’s Schedule-I status, and the legality of ten (10!) naturally occurring, food-based analogs of GHB.

These last four letters, written in early 2000, deal with the Alabama Senate and Attorney General. Alabama was one of the early states to criminalize GHB in the Schedule I category, and Bill Pryor, the Alabama Attorney General, was proposing increasing penalties for exceedingly small amounts of GHB (a quarter-pound burger would qualify). Dr. Ward Dean travelled to Alabama and testified to the Senate committee, and these letters were part of the aftermath of that testimony.

Letter to the Alabama Senate Committee on the Judiciary, written by Steven Wm. Fowkes, dealing with Mr. Pryor’s misrepresentations of Dr. Dean’s testimony.

Letter to Alabama Attorney General Bill Pryor dealing with his misrepresentations to the Senate committee.

Follow-up letter to Alabama Senate Committee on the Judiciary dealing with Alabama Attorney General Bill Pryor’s proposed changes to the Alabama GHB-criminalization bill. This is the first time that government administrator and legislators have attempted to address the legal deficiencies of GHB-prohibition legislation.

Third letter to Alabama Senate Committee on the Judiciary dealing with an alternative approach to preventing date rape: the use of bittering agents.