Pubdate: Mon, 06 Oct 2003
Source: Burnaby Now, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2003 Lower Mainland Publishing Group Inc.
Author: Eugene Oscapella



Re: Drugs as weapons, Sept. 29, Burnaby NOW.

You say that date-rape drugs should be considered weapons. If that is your 
position with respect to GHB and Rohypnol, that should also be your 
position with respect to alcohol.

Alcohol is far and away the greatest date-rape drug in our society. We 
should focus on the misuse of alcohol in this context, not get caught up in 
the hysteria over the much less frequent use of GHB and Rohypnol.

And do we need another offence in any event?

Section 245 of the Criminal Code already prohibits "administering or 
causing to be administered" a noxious thing.

The maximum penalty, if the intent is to cause bodily harm, is 14 years. If 
the intent is to "aggrieve" the person, the maximum penalty is two years.

Section 246 of the Criminal Code makes it an offence punishable by a 
maximum of life imprisonment if a person, with intent to commit an 
indictable offence (sexual assault is an indictable offence), administers a 
stupefying or overpowering drug.

Eugene Oscapella, barrister and solicitor, Canadian Foundation for Drug 
Policy, Ottawa
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