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To the California Senate Criminal Proceedures Committee,
Given the recent disturbing media reports about the misuse of GHB, it is not surprising that a bill would be proposed to ban GHB. However, this sensationalized picture of GHB fails to present the balanced view that should, ideally, be the basis of law.
At a recent session of the Assembly Committee on Public Safety, I testified against AB6. Unfortunately, due to the unreasonable time constraints placed on me by the legislative process, I was unable to get written materials submitted to the entire committee prior to my testimony. Fortunately, this will not be the case with the Senate Committee on Criminal Procedure. I have taken the last few days to prepare the enclosed, detailed, written report about GHB, a nutrient substance which will be completely banned for all uses by SB3 and SB54.
If enacted as they stand, these bills will be a travesty. There is extensive medical and scientific information about GHB which has apparently been withheld from your committee. There are more than a dozen INDs currently on file with the FDA. In addition, you have been given false and misleading information about GHB. The specific motives of those falsely representing GHB are widely varied. Some are entirely honest and genuinely concerned with social problems. Others I know to be dishonest manipulators, scheeming to achieve their political ends without regard for fact or the harm their actions will visit onto others. For example, contrary to what you might have been told, GHB is not a designer drug synthesized in some dark, underground laboratory; it is a nutrient found in most of our foods and a natural metabolite of the human body. You may also have been told that there are "no legitimate medical uses for GHB." This is an outrageous lie. It has extensive medical uses among alternative/complementary doctors. In addition, there are 15 INDs pending at the FDA, all of which remark on the inherrent safety of GHB. There are narcolepsy patients who have been taking GHB for more than ten years, with great results and no addiction problems whatsoever. In these patients, there are no controls placed on their use of GHB. They are given a large container of GHB, told to take as much as they need, and to come back when they need more. This FDA-approved protocol contradicts the stated rationale for SB3 and SB54. What is worse, FDA employees testifying aginst GHB in court and before commitees know full well these facts. In other words, their deceptions are deliberate.
These facts are only a tiny piece of the information about GHB that should be considered before drastic measures are taken, especially measures that will disenfranchise current patients for whom GHB is the "treatment of choice" for their afflictions, or worse, drive more law-abiding citizens into the drug underground. I have prepared an extensive report on GHB and the circumstances surrounding it to bring you up to speed on what you may need to know. To assist you in accessing the sheer volume of information efficiently, the report has a one-page executive summary of the main points of the report which mentions the page on which the points are discussed in detail.
By way of background: I hold a degree in organic chemistry. I personally use GHB as part of my overall nutrition program. I have been taking it for years without any side effects. Should GHB become classified as a Schedule I substance, I would be considerably disadvantaged. I would have the unfortunate decision to choose between 1) suffering without, 2) risking a felony conviction, or 3) leaving the state. None of these are satisfactory options. As a productive member of society, a taxpayer, and employer of 4 California citizens, I would very much resent being driven from the state by a misguided attempt by the California Legislature to protect me from myself. I concur with the near-universal opinion of the alternative/complementary physicians who use GHB within their practices that any "reasonable" person can use GHB safely and effectively with merely adequate labeling. This hardly justifies SB3 or SB54.
I have been invited by Les Kleinberg to testify before your committee. Given the libelous and slanderous statements that have been made about GHB by supporters of these bills, I can only say that I am looking forward to setting the record straight. I will welcome any questions you may have for me about any aspects of this information.
I am currently trying to make arrangements to have Ward Dean, M.D. flown in from Florida for the hearing. He is a recently retired U.S. Navy Commander, a West Point graduate, and former flight surgeon for the Delta Force. He is a court-approved expert witness on GHB and has read all of the GHB INDs in detail. He uses GHB in his practice and is licensed in Florida and California. He is the Director of the Center for Bio-Gerontology and would very much like to discuss GHB's geriatric applications.
Steven Wm. Fowkes