Kivela’s legislation to combat meth, smurfing passes in Senate

Kivela’s legislation to combat meth, smurfing passes in Senate

Courtesy:  House Democratic Caucus

LANSING — House Bill 5615, legislation introduced by state Representative John Kivela (D-Marquette) in June, was passed by the state Senate Tuesday.  The bill would amend the Criminal Enterprises Chapter of the Michigan Penal Code to include a provision for racketeering involving illegal methamphetamine production.

Kivela’s bill is part of a greater legislative effort to prevent the illegal production and distribution of methamphetamine in Michigan, including a new meth offender registry which will block sales of products containing pseudoephedrine (PSE) for individuals appearing on the registry.

“I am proud that my colleagues in the Legislature could see the importance of this bill, and voted to send it to the governor for his signature,” said Kivela. “Meth is a growing problem in our state, and it is extremely important to act quickly to stop it from wrecking Michigan’s many wonderful communities.”

Earlier this legislative session, the Legislature also passed HBs 5089 and 5090, which work together to tackle what is called “smurfing” – an organized group purchase of PSE where all individuals buy only the daily, or 30-day, per-person limit, then combine the drug to make a larger quantity of methamphetamine. These bills were signed by the governor and are now Public Acts 217 and 218, respectively.

Rep. Kurt Heise (R-Plymouth), chairman of the House Criminal Justice Committee, said, “I especially want to thank Rep. Kivela, who worked tirelessly in a bipartisan effort to combat the epidemic of meth in his community. Regardless of our party or where we live, the fight against meth knows no boundaries. We must stamp out this crime wherever it exists, and provide assistance and support for those who suffer from addiction.”

“Illegal drugs have no place in Michigan, and this is one more way we can ensure our families and community members are protected,” said Kivela. “However, this is just one step in a great battle. I look forward to continue the fight with my colleagues to keep drugs off our streets.”