Laws to crack down on meth production
LANSING (AP) – Three new Michigan laws intended to stop people from buying small amounts of medicine from numerous stores to illegally make methamphetamine have been signed by Gov. Rick Snyder.
One law prohibits buying or possessing ephedrine or pseudoephedrine – ingredients in cold medicine – knowing it will be used to cook meth. Another law makes it a crime to ask another person to buy ephedrine or pseudoephedrine. A third classifies that soliciting someone to buy meth components is a felony carrying a penalty of up to 10 years in prison.
The laws are meant to crack down on “smurfs,” people who buy cold medicine for drug ringleaders to use in meth production.
“Methemphetamine production and abuse is dangerous not only for those who use the drug, but to the entire community where meth is used or produced,” Snyder said in a statement Thursday after signing the bills into law. “Meth’s potentially fatal production process releases toxic chemicals into the air creating public safety concerns and adverse health effects on those who produce or use the product, as well as their fellow Michiganders.
“These bills will give law enforcement officials the tools necessary to effectively fight illegal drug production.”
Snyder also is expected to soon sign related measures requiring law enforcement to report meth-related convictions to a national database. The goal is generating stop-sale alerts to pharmacies for people convicted of meth crimes.
The laws take effect in January.
House Bill 5363 was sponsored by state Rep. Amanda Price, R-Holland, and prohibits a person from purchasing or possessing any amount of ephedrine or pseudoephedrine with the knowledge it will be used to manufacture methamphetamine.
House Bill 5089, sponsored by state Rep. Bob Genetski, R-Saugatuck, prohibits a person from soliciting another person to purchase or obtain ephedrine or pseudoephedrine knowing it will be used for methamphetamine production. And Hose Bill 5090, sponsored by state Rep. Aric Nesbitt, R-Lawton, amends the criminal code to classify a violation of HB 5089 as a Class D felony with a 10-year maximum prison term.