Clinton Signs Bill Banning Use of `Date-Rape' Drugs Measure Helps Candidate Win Women Voters

By Ap | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), October 14, 1996 | Go to article overview

Clinton Signs Bill Banning Use of `Date-Rape' Drugs Measure Helps Candidate Win Women Voters


Ap, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


President Bill Clinton signed a bill Sunday outlawing Rohypnol and other "date-rape drugs" used by criminals.

The bill subjects rapists to an additional 20 years in prison if they use a narcotic to incapacitate their victims.

With a line of police officers forming a law-and-order backdrop, Clinton declared, "Today, I signed legislation to crack down on criminals who employ illegal drugs in a sick attempt to facilitate their violent crimes. "We must do everything we can to stop it." For the first time, using a drug as a weapon is illegal under the new law. Supporters argue that dropping a pill in a victim's drink is just as cruel as putting a knife to her throat. He signed the measure on a sunny Denver tarmac before boarding Air Force One for Albuquerque, where he planned three days of mock debates, golf and rest. The second and final debate with Republican rival Bob Dole is Wednesday night in San Diego. Standing at the intersection of Fifth Street and fabled Route 66 in downtown Albuquerque, the president told a huge crowd of New Mexico residents that the debates "are deadly serious." "What these debates reveal are two different visions about how we should move forward as a nation into the 21st century," Clinton said. "Do we believe we ought to build a bridge big enough and wide enough for all of us to walk across. Or are (Republicans) right . . . and we ought to just say, `There's a river. You figure out how to get across it.' " GOP Steps Up Attacks Increasingly venomous Republican attacks on Clinton's character put his campaign on the defensive Sunday. Swarms of reporters surrounded his spokesmen in front of the president's plane for reaction to GOP attacks on the Sunday morning news shows. Dole campaign manager Scott Reed said that through Election Day on Nov. 5, Dole will be asking, "Do the American people trust Bill Clinton?" "This is a sign of desperation by the Dole campaign," said Harold Ickes, the chief White House political operative. …

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