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28 December 1999
Department of Justice, Legislative Unit
1300 I Street, 17th Floor
Sacramento, California, 95814 USA
Dear Mr. Kleinberg,
I am writing to ask your written opinion on several questions which I have put to various legislators and regulators without answer. Katina Kypridakes of the Chemicals Regulation Unit referred me to you.
These questions involve the extent of influence of AB 924. It is my understanding that this new legislation established Schedule II status for GHB-related which necessitates reporting requirements for any sale of these chemicals within California. I also understand that analogs of GHB-related chemicals are automatically Schedule II under the provisions of the analog-drug statutes. Please refer to page 4 for an illustration of the chemical relationships of these chemicals involved in my queries.
Since it has been two years since my testimony to the Senate Committee on Criminal Procedure, Ill remind you that I am the Executive Director of CERI, which operates as a think tank for nutritional, herbal and pharmaceutical treatments for cognitive conditions of all types. We have been reporting on the nutritional and medical applications of GHB for years. We publish a newsletter, Smart Life News, which is distributed to subscribers in 40 countries. I am an organic chemist by degree and have been qualified to testify in Federal Court on the chemistry of GHB. I have supervised a forensic analysis of beef which establishes that it contains GHB. I have scientific papers which document GHB-related chemical content of numerous foods. I have also advised a few police, paramedical and coroners departments.
Question 1: Since AB 924 establishes reporting requirements for GHB and its precursors, isomers, esters, ethers, isomers and salts, has anybody at the Justice Department created a list of all affected chemicals? If so, will you please forward a copy of that list to me? If not, please explain why?
Question 2: Do the reporting requirements for sales of Schedule-II chemicals under 11106 apply to retail sales of these chemicals to consumers? Specifically, will each sale of acetone-free nail-polish remover by grocery, department and drug stores require reporting to the Department of Justice? (Acetone-free nail-polish remover contains butyrolactone, a precursor and analog of GHB.) If not, will retail sale of acetone-free nail-polish remover be prohibited in California?
Question 3: Do reporting requirements apply to chemical mixtures which contain one or more of the precursors, esters, ethers, isomers and salts of GHB? Specifically, will the sale of skin-care products which contain alpha hydroxy (alpha-hydroxybutyrate, an isomer of GHB) or beta hydroxy (beta-hydroxybutyrate, an isomer of GHB) require reporting to the Department of Justice? If not, will their retail sale be prohibited in California?
Question 4: Do you consider AB 924 to apply to polymers of GHB and its precursors, esters, ethers, isomers and salts? And a related question, does the unreacted monomer content of polymers require reporting? Are you implementing reporting requirements for polyesters of GHB or 1,4-butanediol that may be made into polyester and polyester-blend clothing? What about polyethers containing 1,4-butanediol or tetrahydrofuran? What about polyamides (e.g., Nylon-4) containing gamma-aminobutyrate or gamma-butyrolactam? What about polyurethane elastomers and polyvinyl-pyrrolidones (e.g., PVP-iodine and blood plasma extenders? If not, will sales of products which contain these GHB-related polymers be prohibited in California?
Question 5: Since analogs of Schedule-II substances are also controlled under the analog-drug statutes, have you or any other person/group in the Department of Justice or Narcotics Department prepared a list of analogs of GHB and analogs of its precursors, esters, ethers, isomers and salts? If so, will you please forward that list to me? If not, please explain why?
Question 6: What chemical criteria does the Narcotics Department use to separate analogs of GHB from non-analogs of GHB? If there are no such criteria, by what means are enforcement decisions made? Is the Department of Narcotics in any way responsible for establishing policy regarding the enforcement of drug laws within the many counties and cities of the state? Does the Justice Department have legal responsibility to ensure that drug laws are equally enforced among the many jurisdictions within California?
Question 7: Katina Kypridakes stated in a phone conversation that gamma-butyrolactone was not illegal. By what criteria does butyrolactone fail to meet the structural and pharmacological criteria of the analog-drug statute with regard to GHB? Has there been any formal decision by the Narcotics Department about this chemical? If so, Id like documentation. If not, Id like a written opinion to that effect.
Question 8: By what criteria does 1,4-butanediol meet or fail to meet the structural and pharmacological criteria of the analog-drug statute with regard to GHB? Has there been any formal decision by the Narcotics Department about this chemical? If so, Id like documentation. If not, Id like a written opinion to that effect.
Question 9: Does any law or regulation establish reporting requirements for foods that contain Schedule-II and/or 11106-related substances that may be harvested or slaughtered within California for sale within California?
Question 10: Since GHB-related compounds, both 1106-related and analog-related, occur in produce, are such foods in any way illegal? Is there any legal statute or regulation which exempts foods from Schedule-II reporting requirements? Are foods exempt from the provisions of the analog-drug statutes? Are dietary supplement products containing any or all of the same chemicals any more or less illegal than the foods which contain them?
I thank you very much for your assistance in getting these questions answered. If you must forward any of them to somebody else for an answer, please advise me of their name, mailing address and phone number. I very much appreciate it. Ill pass on your answers to concerned individuals.
Steven Wm. Fowkes
cc: Govenor Gray Davis, Governor of California
Ward Dean, M.D., Center for Bio-Gerontology
Assemblyman Mike Honda, San Jose
Sheriff Don Horsley, San Mateo County
Hallye Jordan, Sacramento Bureau, San Jose Mercury News
Assemblyman Ted Lempert, 21st District
John Morgenthaler, Smart Publications
Greg Pagan, Counsel, Assembly Committee on Public Safety
Commander Dominic Peloso, Head of Narcotics, Menlo Park Police
Senator Byron Sher, 11th District
Chief Scott Vermeer, Menlo Park Police