Chemicals dealer on trial for liquid ecstasy sales

By Terrapinzflyer · Jun 29, 2010 · ·
  1. Terrapinzflyer
    Berlin - A German chemicals dealer who claims he never knew addicts were buying his solvents to sniff went on trial Monday for selling 7 tonnes of gamma-butyrolacton (GBL), a synthetic drug sometimes dubbed "liquid ecstasy."

    Police arrested him last July, then raided homes and offices in January in Germany, Austria, Slovenia and Switzerland to shut down what they called the rest of a GBL-trafficking ring.

    Just one millilitre of GBL can make people feel euphoric and large amounts make them dizzy. Five deaths were caused by overdoses with the dealer's GBL, police in the city of Nuremberg said.

    But lawyers for the defendant, 32, said he had thought all the buyers of his GBL were using it or re-selling it as a cleaning material. It also dissolves dirt, paint and superglue.

    The defendant faces 7,800 separate counts of breaching German pharmaceuticals laws. The trial is expected to run until December.

    Mon, 28 Jun 2010 16:46:32 GMT,trial-liquid-ecstasy-sales.html

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  1. Alfa
    Very interesting. GBL sales have always been in the grey area, as it has very legitimate reasons to be sold, while it is on the UN red list and there are EU alerts on it, so there are very real reasons for prosecutions as well.
  2. MrG
    I don't see how he is being charged with breaching pharmaceutical law. GBL is an industrial solvent, not a medicinal drug.
  3. godztear
    I would have to think this is going to fall under the same category as the whole "plant food" and "bath salt" thing.

    The cover-up is legit, but the intentions are illicit therefore prosecution will attempt to prove that he did in fact know that his product was being misused.
  4. Spucky
    AW: Re: Chemicals dealer on trial for liquid ecstasy sales

    But if the Prosecutur bring enough evidence and show that this Guy know
    that the People used it for a "Recreational Purpose" he will lose everything!

    I am not on the side of the Government but that stuff was and is real bad!
    And the People who sell this stuff are bad too :)
  5. MrG
    Not really, 'plant food' and 'bath salt' was an entirely contrived commercial misnomer for a substance which, on the most part, had no classification whatsoever. Gamma-Butyrolactone is an industrial solvent which has no pharmaceutical connotation. The UK's recent scheduling of GBL, when sold or possessed for human ingestion, is related to the 'Misuse of Drugs' act, which doesn't require a substance to fall under pharmaceutical regulation for it to be included, only that it be listed as a controlled substance, whatever that substance may be, pharmaceutical or otherwise.

    I don't see how, unless the authorities can absolutely prove somehow that he knew it was for personal consumption, they are likely to be able to make the charges stick.

    Spucky, I'd advise against making statements that only serve to prove one's lack of understanding about a substance.
  6. Spucky
    AW: Chemicals dealer on trial for liquid ecstasy sales

    GBL was and still is a special case (in Germany), the wholesaler need to prove that this stuff
    is used in a legal specified manner (cleaning, mixing, etc.)
    He had not done this and this will break his Neck!

    I don't mind the substance, all i mind are the psychological Effects and they are more than worse!
  7. 0utrider
    to clarify things a bit here:
    In Germany, there already is a semi-analogues act in force. Its not the Controlled Substances Act (BtmG) but instead the Pharmaceutical Act (AMG). One of the very first articles in this Act states that anything (!) that is intended to treat/cure/have effects in/on the human body is considered to be a pharmaceutical. That is right. That is how they charged him, with unauthorized selling of a pharmaceutical, as his buyers bought it solely for consumption purposes and he reasonably ought to have known that/knew that, thus he sold pharmaceuticals.
    The big difference here is that the Pharmaceuticals Act treats things a lot more lenient than the Controlled Substances Act. It is completely legal to buy and own any amount of a Pharmaceutical (unless stated otherwise, i.e. controlled substance), however not to sell it. And the penalties are a lot lower.
    The weird part about it, is the definition. My translation is pretty teleological, but quite accurate in how far they pigs are able to bend this provision. The wording allows for pretty much anything to fall under this act. In fact, I am surprised why they waited to ban e.g. Spice by using the Controlled Substances Act, while they could have at least stopped the sales months before that. Similarly, if one were to sell.. whatever pretty much, e.g. root bark or even gas/petrol and people consume it, without him knowing so, he could be prosecuted. As a matter of fact, that is why one of the biggest chemical suppliers for hobby-chemists (seriously, not an RC vendor) closed its doors last year, because they were not able to possibly deal with the liability arising out of this.
    Obviously, there is also a list of substances that may be sold freely without a special license, that is the stuff you can buy in Supermarkets (Vitamins etc) and potentially a few legal highs would fall under that, e.g. coffein highs.

    The real fucked up situation is not that GBL (or other legal highs) are in a grey area, but - in my opinion - that this is a violation of the very foundations of our democratic society because it is a violation of the legality principle and the Rechtstaat (sry, hate to use Anglicized german terms, but thats how its called). This leaves the door wide open for arbitrariness and abuse of power, irrespective of the debate on whether drugs should/shouldn't be legal, are/aren't bad, should/shouldn't be banned. This is outrageous. The mere fact of the whole GBL raids is a pretty good example of this. I don't recall the exact numbers, but the Raids were in the hundreds (200 or so I believe). In (again, just estimating it, but it kinda hits the nail on the head) only 5-10% of these they found any GBL (however, found contraband). And of all these few, only a minuscule amount of people had amounts of GBL that were beyond the amounts for personal use. Additionally, literally ALL but the vendor himself were acquitted of the charges, as GBL is still legal and it was too much of a law bending to prosecute the others. This is just absurd. How much tax money gets lost on this, how many families are destroyed because of lost trust in each other and how many people lost the respect of their neighbors and whatnot, just because the parliament is not able to take responsibility for their own actions (or rather: omissions).

    This, in additon to the fact that in Germany the 'Fruit of the poisonous tree' Principle (Google it..) does not exist is making things even worse. In the US and many other countries it goes like this: If a raid or a search or any police measure turns out to be illegal, any evidence found may not be used in court. This does not apply to Germany. While the measure is illegal and charges can be brought against the State, the evidence will still be used. I am not entirely sure whether this has any connection to this GBL case, but I recall several cases of wrongfully acquired evidence due to dubious police action along the lines of this recent example where the used the evidence found. And the evidence found retroactively justifies the search. Maybe not 'legally', but factually, as no judge will mitigate a sentence because the search was unjustified and illegal but turned out to be a 20 gram weed 'bust'.

    Sorry.. there was a little more i wanted to add, but it slipped my mind. This is really making me angry. This ... happening.. in the US? Okay. In Russia? Sure. But in our Beautiful Europe? Things are really getting worse. Again: irrespective of whether drugs are bad or not. This is just a fundamental principle of mutual respect in society. You make rules and you abide by them. You don't break the very rules you made or did not make. I am surprised that this is not brought before the German Supreme Court. Completely disproportional, illegal, arbitrary.

    However it may be, one should under no circumstance try to sell "legal" drugs in (or rather: from) Germany. Thats a go-to-prison card.

    While I really like the EU and thus far there have been many reasonable measures fighting drugs as well as doing harm reduction AND securing citizens rights.. the _only_ thing I fear about the EU is the fact that these rotten principles could be a model for EU-wide witch-hunts. I am a strong proponent of the EU, but the way how politicians are afraid and unintelligible regarding Internet, Privacy, Freedom, Drugs and Immigrants is shocking. (Let alone the unwillingness to even deal with the issue of distribution of wealth.)
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