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Stricter Penalties Regarding Date Rape Drugs

Sacramento, CA – People caught with so-called date rape drugs could soon face stronger punishment if a new bill, that this week unanimously passed the California Senate, becomes law.

Backers of the legislation say possessing the drugs shows intent to use and should require stricter penalties than the current misdemeanor charge, which only carries a possible year in jail.  SB 333, known as the Controlled Substances Bill, would make it a felony to use “date rape” drugs such as GHB, Rohypnol, or ketamine with the intent to commit sexual assault. Under the bill, those convicted could face a 16 month jail term, or two or three years in state prison.

Co-author Republican Senator Sharon Runner (R-Lancaster) calls the bill proactive. “The use of date rape drugs in sexual assault crimes especially rape is a despicable act. In fact, committing sexual assaults with the use of date rape drugs can result in a life sentence. However, we should not wait until a rape occurs to impose that penalty for using this drug. Possession with intent is enough,” said Senator Runner.

The bill now moves to the assembly for a vote.