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Debate Over Date Rape Drug Stirs Attack
Houston Chronicle
October 17, 1999

[Erowid Note : GHB was placed in Federal Schedule I in March 2000]

Rep. Ron Paul , R-Surfside, the lone House member to vote against a bill to tighten restrictions on a so-called "date rape" drug, characterized his opposition as anti-federalism.

"It is much easier to ride the current wave of federalizing every human misdeed in the name of saving the world from some evil than to uphold a constitutional oath which prescribes a procedural structure by which the nation is protected from what is perhaps the worst evil, a national police state," Paul said in a prepared statement on Friday.

The bill, called the Hillory J. Farias Date Rape Prevention Act, passed the House 423-1. If it clears the Senate, the measure would put gamma y-hydroxybutrate (GHB) in the same legal category as heroin and cocaine.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Houston, would impose a 20-year prison sentence for anyone convicted of administering GHB to an unknowing person. Although Paul was the only dissenter, he voted consistently with his Libertarian orientation. He was the Libertarian Party nominee for president in 1988.

Paul aide Michael Sullivan said the congressman wants the federal government to let states decide how to deal with crime and to decide issues on principle, not polls.

"It's much easier to go with the trend," Sullivan said. "But police officers do not like the federal government telling them how to fight crime ... in Houston, Texas, or anywhere else. But the state legislators do understand what needs to be addressed."