I have unhidden this page because I have learned that someone plagiarized a lot of it. I am reporting this, and they need to be able to see the original content.
This page had served its purpose, with friends seeing updates to events as I learned of them.
All services are disabled. Friends don’t need to see my plagiarism report.
I am considering adding some new content regarding things that I learned. But I am very busy, so for now it will have to wait.
The Milky Way over Mount Lassen, California
So CA had two laws regulating GBL. One treated it as a List 1 Precursor, and the other as a Schedule 1 drug analogue. The Precursor statute was specifically worded to require people or businesses “in this state” to obtain a license to sell GBL, and to report their sales, and it also specifically required that if a person obtained a precursor “from outside the state” then the purchaser was required to get a license and to report the purchase. This leaves out of state suppliers out of that loop. (A couple months after the charges were filed the federal law went into effect making GBL a federal precursor, so all distributors must now be licensed.) This issue was specifically raised at the trial court level, but they claimed that since GBL was in both places (and no other precursors were), and because my friend was doing business “in this state” by shipping a chemical here, even though he wasn’t there, he should have had a license. So his sat in jail, and then in prison.
So you lost 3 and a 3/4 years. It could have been a lot worse, but it should have never happened.
Enjoy the fresh air and the blue skies, my friend.
We are not as free as I used to believe.
You can sell a chemical that’s completely unregulated in your state, correctly labeled with an attached Material Safety Data Sheet, a chemical that has lots of legitimate uses (including being the main ingredient in acetone-free nail polish remover, but probably not now), advertise the chemical as being a solvent, with no evidence you ever either verbally or in writing advocated any illegal use, and you can unknowingly ship that chemical into a state that scheduled it as a drug, and land in prison. This happened. The chemical was known to be a chemical precursor to a substance that was beginning to be scheduled in some states, but this guy had no idea it could be called an analogue and placed on a drug schedule. And while this guy was in jail for running a website selling this environmentally friendly solvent (which is what it is – it’s substitute for acetone and other solvents, and it not flammable, the fumes are not toxic, and it’s biodegradable), bigger industry kept shipping this stuff around because the new Federal law that made the solvent a regulated chemical precursor (not a scheduled drug) hadn’t gone into effect yet. This is not the America I thought I new.
UPDATE. I talked to my friend. He finally called. I got some nonsense from the DA who handled the first case (the prior post here). There were two counties that pressed charges. In the first case, he took a no-contest plea in exchange for the right to appeal several pretrial issues and also whether CA had jurisdiction. In the second case, he had a simplified trial by judge, where the evidence was just some agreed upon facts and the preliminary hearing transcript. The deal for waiving jury was he was guaranteed a concurrent sentence with the first case. (They hate to spend resources having trials.) By having a trial by stipulation instead of the plea, he was assured the issues were correctly preserved for appeal. You see, his first attorney screwed up big time, and all the issues weren’t properly preserved. He has received no word of charges from AZ, and they are required to notify him in a timely manner so he can exercise his rights under the interstate agreement on detainers.
I contacted Robert H. Baker, the Deputy District Attorney. Here’s a rephrased summary of what he basically said.
He pleaded to several counts of selling and transporting GBL. He got five years in state prison. He is currently appealing, asking the court of appeals to allow him to withdraw his guilty plea. After he got sentenced in San Jose, he went to Redwood City, CA, where he faced similar charges. He pleaded guilty there to a few years in prison, which will be run concurrent to his San Jose case. I believe he is also facing criminal charges in Arizona upon his release from the California Department of Corrections.
One day the World Trade Center is there, the next it isn’t. You never know what might happen.
He took a deal and plead no-contest in the first of the two counties that charged him. They lost all their pre-trial motions, including jurisdiction, and a conflict with statutes where one CA statute says the party “in this state” in the party responsible for reporting sales a purchases of the precursor chemical. GBL is also on the drug schedule as an analog. (The only precursor to have that status.) There weren’t any issues as to whether he ran the business. He ran it out in the open. He had no idea that GBL itself could be ingested as a drug, he only knew it could be chemically converted into GHB, which had become regulated in some jurisdictions. There is a law against selling a precursor with knowledge that it would be used to manufacture a drug, but he was not charged with that, and there was absolutely no evidence of that.
The Arizona Republic put quite of slant on this thing. Terrible.
When the dust settled all Hall was guilty of was selling a controlled substance to an undercover agent in California. But the bill in CA did not follow the normal process. After it traveled through the respective houses it stall on the governors desk. It actually sat there for months and was forgotten. Then in a secretive, unannounced move, it suddenly became law. Ordinarily, when a chemical is reclassified, notice is made to suppliers, so that diversion licenses can be applied for, overstock accounted for, and exemption permits applied for.
General Mills used to be the largest employer in the state of CA. The agricultural base, and the subsequent textile manufacturing, along with the herbicide blenders are two immediate and large users of gbl. The production of bdo in US was over 1 billion pounds last year. As an intermediary gbl was probably 10 X’s that. There are known industries in CA that use gbl by the tanker truck load.
There was some speculation that Inova was a dea/fda front. This was because a known undercover agent of fda/dea was actively steering potential customers to Inova over a year before Hall’s final act. Hall’s business must have broken a few models of growth with the repeated steering of the undercover fda agent posting on a certain newsgroup repeatedly.
When the person who exposed anonymous did so he was threatened with charges at the federal level.
Another highly questionable element is the rider that permitted the exercise before the 60 day period. Never in the history of drug law has this occured. All states have adopted the 60 day period into their own drug laws, and it is uncontrovertible standard practice.
The Arizona Republic put quite of slant on this thing. Terrible.
After all the dust settled all Hall was guilty of was delivering a controlled sub to an undercover agent in CA. Now it so happens the CA law was passed by the house etc, and stalled on the gov’s desk, then, without warning, fanfare, publicity, the law was signed.
The #1 employer in CA used to be General Mills. Quite a center for agriculture (insecticide) and textile mfg. (2 uses of gbl)
There had been some speculation Inova was a dea/fda front because a known agent was “steering” business to Inova for over a year before his final act. In short Inova was a creation of the gov, to go along with the hysteria of the time.
The CA law did not follow the usual procedure. There is usually an announcement that allows suppliers to apply for diversion licenses, inform customers, conform to legislation. Meanwhile the gbl tanker trucks still roll to the textile plants manufacturing the agricultural crops and the herbicide manufacturers making the fumigants, and to some unknown extent the computer industry. Bdo production in this country last year was over 1 billion lbs and gbl must have been 10X’s that.
A large national supplier has restructured their hub to LA, CA just prior to the CA law and business is as usual unfettered, to date. The critics agree: “Intolerable.” ”The end of law enforcement.” ”An unknowing animal raised and led to the slaughter.”