State Teams With Feds to Crackdown on Illegal Meth Production
Crackdown on heels of new state law
August 30, 2005
LANSING – Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced that a nationwide Methamphetamine enforcement initiative, led by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), resulted in 19 arrests, 10 lab seizures and 12 children being placed in protective custody in Michigan.
“We in Michigan are continuing our commitment to fighting this invasive, illegal drug,” Granholm said. “We must do everything in our power to protect Michigan children and families from those who seek to harm them. Methamphetamine has the potential to ruin not only the lives of users, but their children and whole communities.”
Already this year, the Michigan State Police reports an increase of 60 percent in methamphetamine lab seizures with 180 labs discovered as of August 22. During this same time period, Southwest Michigan, which has been hardest hit, has seen a 70 percent increase over last year.
“The cleanup costs alone for methamphetamine are staggering with the average lab cleanup costing $2,500 to $7,500 per lab,” stated Col. Tadarial J. Sturdivant, director of the Michigan State Police. “This doesn’t begin to take into account law enforcement overtime, special equipment and training and the cost of treatment for users.”
To curb the spread of meth in Michigan, Granholm has taken several steps to clamp down on the manufacture and use of the drug by signing legislation targeting the common chemicals used to produce meth and the clandestine labs that produce it.
The laws, which took effect on April 1, 2004:
• provide for the inspection of a building for contamination if the property had been the site of illegal drug manufacturing. (Senate Bill 648)
• prohibit the owning, possessing, using, or providing of a vehicle, building, structure, place, area, chemical, or laboratory equipment for the purpose of manufacturing a controlled or counterfeit substance. (Senate Bill 649)
• prohibit the possession of more than 10 grams of ephedrine alone or in a mixture. This is one of the common chemicals used to make methamphetamine. (Senate Bill 650)
• revise sentencing guidelines for the possession of more than 10 grams of ephedrine. (Senate Bill 651)
• prohibit the transporting or possessing of anhydrous ammonia in a container other than a container "approved by law" and tampering with a container approved by law. This is another common chemical used to manufacture the drug. (Senate Bill 652)
• revise sentencing guidelines for the operating or maintaining of a controlled substance laboratory to list the violation as a Class B controlled substances felony with a statutory minimum sentence of 20 years. (Senate Bill 698)
• include in sentencing guidelines new penalties for the unlawful possessing or transporting of anhydrous ammonia. (Senate Bill 777)
More recently, Granholm signed legislation which will further limit access to ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, key ingredients in the illegal production of methamphetamine.
Senate Bill 189 (Public Act 87 of 2005) and House Bill 4322 (Public Act 86 of 2005) require retailers who sell over the counter medicines that contain either ephedrine or pseudoephedrine to either place the medicines behind a counter or in a locked case or place an anti-theft device on the products. The legislation also makes it illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to purchase these products and limits the amount that can be purchased by an adult each month. These laws go into effect on December 15, 2005.
Granholm today applauded the leadership of the DEA on meth enforcement and the work of the Michigan State Police, as well as local and county law enforcement agencies in addressing this emerging issue.
Should anyone have information about methamphetamine production or use, they are encouraged to call the Michigan State Police’s 24-hour tip line at 1-866-Meth-Tip.