Legislature(2005 - 2006)BUTROVICH 205

03/13/2006 01:30 PM HEALTH, EDUCATION & SOCIAL SERVICES


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+= SB 299 NONDISCRIMINATION HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ HB 379 CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES, INCL. ANALOGS TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 379(JUD) Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
= SB 281 SCHOOL DIST. ENROLLMENT SHARING/CORRESPON
Heard & Held
       CSHB 379(JUD)-CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES, INCL. ANALOGS                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON announced CSHB 379(JUD) to be up for discussion.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:35:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KEVIN  MEYER, sponsor of CSHB  379(JUD), said that                                                               
gamma-hydroxybutyric   acid   (GHB)   is   oderless,   tasteless,                                                               
colorless,  and easy  to slip  into a  drink; consequently  it is                                                               
gaining popularity  as a date  rape drug. He related  an incident                                                               
that occurred in the state last  year in which a 16-year-old girl                                                               
died,  and  an  18-year-old  girl  was  put  into  a  coma  after                                                               
overdosing on GHB.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
He said that none of the  analogues of GHB are listed under state                                                               
statute  because  it  is  currently   listed  as  a  category  IV                                                               
controlled substance.   He  said that HB  379 would  correct this                                                               
oversight by  elevating GHB to  class one status, which  has been                                                               
its status with  the federal government since the year  2000.  He                                                               
added that the  bill would for allow the continued  use of GHB in                                                               
industry.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:37:20 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  DYSON  said  he  assumed   that  most  of  the  violations                                                               
associated with  the drug would  be prosecuted in state  court if                                                               
this bill becomes law.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MEYER replied yes.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:37:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MICHAEL PAWLOWSKI,  staff to Representative Meyer,  said that the                                                               
aforementioned  overdose  case  was  tried  in  a  federal  court                                                               
because the substance was not covered under state law.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:38:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR OLSON  asked why  GHB should  be made  a Schedule  I drug                                                               
when it  does not share  the addictive properties of  other drugs                                                               
in that category.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   MEYER  replied   that  the   federal  government                                                               
recognizes GHB as a highly addictive drug.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:39:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  PAWLOWSKI remarked  that Alaska  statute  is behind  federal                                                               
statute with regard  to the classification of GHB  because it has                                                               
only recently become a popular date rape drug.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR OLSON asked him to describe the effects GHB.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. PAWLOWSKI responded  that is it slows  the heart, respiratory                                                               
system, and  it can  cause amnesia.   He said  that a  very small                                                               
quantity of  the drug creates  effects similar to that  of severe                                                               
alcohol intoxication.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:41:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  OLSON asked  why this  drug should  be categorized  as a                                                               
Schedule I  drug when it  is less  addictive than other  drugs in                                                               
that category.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. PAWLOWSKI replied that the  federal government classified GHB                                                               
as a  Schedule I drug because  it is dangerous and  addictive, it                                                               
causes   serious  withdrawal   symptoms,   and  has   significant                                                               
potential for widespread abuse.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:42:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR OLSON asked how the drug causes fatalities.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR.  PAWLOWSKI  replied the  drug  kills  by causing  respiratory                                                               
system failure and cardiac arrest.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  DYSON referenced  the  following  from material  presented                                                               
with the bill:                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     When ingested  these analogues produce effects  such as                                                                    
     relaxation,  mild  euphoria,   and  drowsiness.    Such                                                                    
     effects  are   similar  to   the  results   of  alcohol                                                                    
     intoxication.     They     also    increase     libido,                                                                    
     suggestibility,  passivity, and  amnesia -  traits that                                                                    
     make  users  vulnerable  to sexual  assault  and  other                                                                    
     criminal acts.   On  awakening from  a coma,  users may                                                                    
     exhibit  extreme  combativeness,  a condition  that  is                                                                    
     also observed in those addicted to GHB.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:43:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHRIS BEHEIM, Crime Lab Supervisor,  Alaska State Crime Lab, said                                                               
that state law  does not cover two  of the analogues of  GHB.  He                                                               
affirmed  that  the  federal  government  categorized  GHB  as  a                                                               
Schedule  I drug  because of  its high  potential for  widespread                                                               
abuse and because of its addictive properties.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR OLSON asked why metabolites  of the drug clear so quickly                                                               
from the liver and the kidney.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BEHEIM  replied  that  question  should  be  directed  to  a                                                               
toxicologist.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR OLSON asked whether metabolites  of the drug are detected                                                               
through spectrometry tests.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. BEHEIM replied yes.  He  stressed that routine tests, such as                                                               
the ones  conducted in a hospital,  would not detect the  drug or                                                               
its analogues.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:45:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR ELTON  asked how authorities  establish whether  the drug                                                               
has been used.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. BEHEIM replied that the state  lab could detect the drug in a                                                               
liquid sample.   He added  that is how  it was identified  in the                                                               
aforementioned overdose case.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON  remarked that the  lab might  one day have  to equip                                                               
itself to detect the drug in blood and urine samples.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR OLSON asked whether there  is a legal medical application                                                               
of GHB.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BEHEIM  replied  that  the drug  has  a  legitimate  medical                                                               
application  that  is  protected  under  the  state's  controlled                                                               
substances statutes.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:49:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR OLSON  asked whether the medical  community has expressed                                                               
its opinion on the passage of this bill.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. BEHEIM replied  that the medical community  has not expressed                                                               
an opinion on the bill.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:49:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR OLSON  moved to  report CSHB  379(JUD) out  of committee.                                                               
Without  objection, CSHB  379(JUD) was  reported from  the Senate                                                               
Health, Education and Social Services Standing Committee.                                                                       

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