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California Schedules GBL (a.k.a. “Blue Nitro”)

On October 10, 1999, California Governor Gray Davis signed AB 924 into law, thereby making gamma-butyrolactone (GBL; a.k.a. brand name Blue Nitro) a Schedule II substance in California effective January 1, 2000. Once ingested, GBL is metabolized into GHB.

The new law places gamma-butyrolactone within the definition of gamma-hydroxybutyrate, stating:

gamma-hydroxybutyrate, including its immediate precursors, isomers, esters, ethers, salts, and salts of isomers, esters, and ethers, including, but not limited to, . . .gamma-butyrolactone, [is classified as a Schedule II substance]. (Health & Saf. Code, sec. 11055(e)(6).)

 

Possession of gamma-butyrolactone (GBL) or gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) is punishable by alternate felony/misdemeanor, punishable by 16 months, two or three years in the state prison or up to one year in the county jail. Possession for sale is a felony, punishable by 16 months, two years, or three years in state prison. Transporting GBL or GHB between non-contiguous counties is punishable by three, six, or nine years

 

Chicago Area Man Arrested and Charged with
GHB Manufacturing

Copyright 1999 Chicago Sun-Times, October 1, 1999

By Cam Simpson

A 23-year-old Elk Grove Village man is the first person to face federal charges for making massive quantities of a drug that is fast becoming the most popular "high" for suburban youths, according to law enforcement officials.

John Keith Dilg, a Conant High School graduate and former Southern Illinois University student, is accused of running one of the largest GHB production operations authorities say they've ever seen here.

In clandestine labs, including one in his parents' Elk Grove Village home, Dilg oversaw the manufacture of more than 1,100 pounds of the liquid party drug during an eight-month period in 1997 and 1998, authorities alleged in charges filed two weeks ago. The drug is sold to users in teaspoon doses.

Michael Cleary, special agent-in-charge of criminal investigations here for the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, said Dilg's case is the first for GHB manufacturing ever filed federally in Chicago. The drug, known in clubs and on the street as Liquid X, Liquid G or G-Riffic, is doled out to users in tiny capfuls costing $US10 to $US25 a pop. It is easily made from two common chemicals: a powerful solvent used to degrease engines and a caustic chemical similar to drain cleaner. "We're finding it in high schools, at events, at party houses—anywhere there's teens," said DuPage County Sheriff John Zaruba. "It's out there, everywhere."

Nationwide, authorities say GHB has caused seizures, comas, respiratory problems and vomiting in scores of youths. A handful of deaths also have been linked to GHB. This summer, its use sent eight youths partying at a Rolling Meadows juice bar to the hospital.

Federal laws against the sale of GHB, once thought of as a sleep-inducing date-rape drug, are weak and complex because GHB is not yet classified as a controlled substance such as cocaine or marijuana.

Dilg is charged with three federal felonies: conspiracy to violate FDA laws, operating an unregistered drug-manufacturing facility and mislabeling drugs. The drug violations often are reserved for the likes of supplement salesmen and get charged as misdemeanors.

Dilg's attorney could not be reached for comment. Sources familiar with the case say he is expected to reach a plea agreement.

The federal charges allege Dilg picked up the drug's main chemical ingredient as often as every two weeks and in batches weighing at least 150 pounds. Others also were allegedly involved but have not been named. Although Dilg could see prison time if convicted, any sentence would be minimal compared with those reserved for traditional drug dealers. For example, dealing 1,100 pounds of crack cocaine would make someone eligible for a mandatory life sentence—more than 300 times over