Senator O’Brien’s anti-meth legislation headed to governor

Senator Margaret O'Brien

Senator Margaret O’Brien

LANSING, Mich. — Legislation sponsored by state Senator Margaret O’Brien that would make it a crime to solicit others to purchase pseudoephedrine for the purposes of manufacturing methamphetamine is on its way to the governor for signing, the senator announced.

“Meth is destroying our communities,” said O’Brien, R-Portage. “Enacting this legislation will make it harder to cook meth, which will hopefully lead to lower meth use. Fighting meth is a bipartisan issue, and I thank my colleagues from both sides of the aisle for their support.”

O’Brien’s bill would enhance existing law that made it a felony for the organized group purchasing of products containing pseudoephedrine to cook meth — a practice also known as smurfing.

Senate Bill 409 would establish a new misdemeanor charge for anyone who attempts to solicit another’s help in acquiring pseudoephedrine products. SB 410, sponsored by Senator Tom Casperson, R-Escanaba, which is also on its way to the governor, is a companion measure that would revise the sentencing guidelines.

Companion measures, House Bill 4769, sponsored by Representative Ed McBroom, which would strengthen criminal charges for individuals convicted of manufacturing meth near a school or library; and HB 4864, sponsored by  Representative John Kivela, to impose a five-year “stop sale alert” on a person convicted of smurfing to prevent the individual from buying meth ingredients, also await the governor’s signature.

“I want to thank Senator O’Brien for her leadership on this important legislative package and for her continued commitment to battling illegal methamphetamine production in Michigan,” said Kivela, D-Marquette. “It was an honor to work with Senator O’Brien as meth is a plague in communities across both peninsulas of Michigan. These bills are another very important step in protecting our constituents from this devastating drug.”