Kivela introduces bill to fight meth production

State Rep. John Kivela listens as Marquette County Prosecutor Matt Wiese testifies in front of the House Criminal Justice Committee on behalf of House Bill 5088.

State Representative John Kivela is working to fight the growing methamphetamine problem in Michigan.

House Bill 5088, which was introduced by Kivela, was discussed in the House Criminal Justice Committee Wednesday.

The bill would help combat meth production and create a stop-sale notification through the existing for any individual with a felony drug conviction trying to purchase a product containing pseudoephedrine (PSE).

Individuals with prior felony drug convictions would be required to obtain a valid prescription from a physician to override the stop-sale notification, but the legislation would not change the process for individuals without felonies on record.

“I am happy that my House colleagues in the Criminal Justice Committee were able to hear testimony on my bill today,” Kivela said in a press release.  “This is a piece of common-sense legislation that will make it more difficult for known criminals to produce methamphetamine in our state.”

Marquette County Prosecutor Matt Wiese testified on behalf of the bill.

“We have witnessed an increase in methamphetamine manufacturing across Marquette County over recent years.  These bills will help track the sales of pseudoephedrine that are key to the production of this dangerous drug that is devastating our community. I am thankful to see Rep. Kivela making this a priority and I am hopeful that the bills will move through the legislative process,” he said in a press release.

Two other bills, House Bill 5089 and 5090 were also introduced.  They work together to tackle “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.

“This is not an issue of politics,” Kivela said. “Keeping drugs off our streets is a bipartisan effort, and I was happy to work across the aisle to get the job done. I look forward to moving this bill out of committee and to the full House for consideration.”