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Club-drug dealers face doubled fines
    #1442838 - 04/09/03 01:40 PM (14 years, 7 months ago)


Club-drug dealers face doubled fines

Wednesday, April 09, 2003

The Express-Times

TRENTON -- Gov. James E. McGreevey has signed a law doubling penalties lodged against those selling or possessing so-called club drugs.

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The law would apply to drugs such as Ecstasy, gamma hydroxybutyrate or GHB, "Special K" and methamphetamine, which proponents of the law maintain are increasingly common -- particularly at underground dance parties and clubs catering to those under age.

GHB has also been labeled a "date-rape" drug by many, who contend the odorless, colorless liquid can be used to incapacitate unknowing women.

"People sometimes don't even know they've been drugged, and it demands just as serious a response from law enforcement as other drugs," said McGreevey spokesman Micah Rasmussen. "In some ways these drugs are more dangerous."

According to one official, under the law penalties would increase from three to five years in prison and a possible $15,000 fine for possession of Ecstasy. For distribution of the drug, the penalties would expand to as much as 20 years in prison, according to John Hagerty a spokesman for the Division of Criminal Justice.

"Obviously there is a concern about club drugs statewide," said Hagerty. "Increasingly, these types of drugs are moving through the state and are being used by younger people."

Hagerty said law enforcement agencies often collaborate to crack club drug rings, traditionally focusing in the summer at the Jersey Shore.

Four Hunterdon Central Regional High School teens were taken to the hospital after ingesting GHB in early 2000. The students -- two girls and two boys -- lost consciousness and vomited after taking the drug, which one boy sneaked into the school in an iced tea container. None of the students was permanently injured.

And the drugs appear to be gaining popularity.

According to one estimate, the U.S. Customs Service seized 400,000 Ecstasy tablets in 1997. In 2001, Customs seized 7.2 million doses of the drug.

Assemblyman George Geist, R-Gloucester, said he stands behind the law. Geist, a past municipal prosecutor, authored a law funneling money from some drug fines into the D.A.R.E. program.

"We need to work overtime to protect our younger generation," Geist said. "This law is aimed at preventing rave parties and certain dance clubs from becoming the centers for distribution of these drugs."

Assemblyman Michael Doherty, R-Hunterdon/Warren, also gave the law his approval.

"Illegal drugs are a tremendously negative force in our society. I would support any law that punishes people who sell drugs," Doherty said. "We really can't tolerate that type of behavior --particularly around our schoolchildren." Terrence Dopp is Trenton correspondent for The Express-Times. He can be reached at 609-292-5154 or by e-mail at tdopp@sjnewsco.com.


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Re: Club-drug dealers face doubled fines [Re: motaman]
    #1444564 - 04/09/03 10:38 PM (14 years, 7 months ago)


I would support any law that punishes people who sell drugs

Does he know alcohol is a drug too?

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Re: Club-drug dealers face doubled fines [Re: Sheepish]
    #1445577 - 04/10/03 03:58 AM (14 years, 7 months ago)

I'm not surprised, in the deep south they'll convict you for drugs even if they don't catch you with any based on the testimony of an informant, with no other evidence.

"If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do."-King Solomon

And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,

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Re: Club-drug dealers face doubled fines [Re: Ellis Dee]
    #1445651 - 04/10/03 04:44 AM (14 years, 7 months ago)

*sings* O'er the land of the free.....

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