Gov. Rick Snyder signs bills to prevent methamphetamine production

Also signs drunken driving, stolen vehicle, squatting bills

Thursday, June 26, 2014

LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Rick Snyder today signed legislation to combat the illegal production of methamphetamine.

“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. 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,” Snyder said. “These bills will give law enforcement officials the tools necessary to effectively fight illegal drug production.”

The bills aim to prevent the practice of purchasing small amounts of pseudoephedrine from numerous retailers in an effort to avoid quantity restrictions put in place by the Methamphetamine Act of 2011.

House Bill 5363, sponsored by state Rep. Amanda Price, prohibits a person from purchasing or possessing any amount of ephedrine or pseudoephedrine with the knowledge it will be used to manufacture methamphetamine. A violation of the law will result in a term of up to five years imprisonment and a fine of up to $5,000.

HB 5089, sponsored by state Rep. Bob Genetski, prohibits a person from soliciting another person to purchase or obtain ephedrine or pseudoephedrine knowing it will be used for methamphetamine production.

HB 5090, sponsored by state Rep. Aric Nesbitt, amends the Code of Criminal Procedure to specify that a violation of HB 5089 is to be classified as a Class D felony involving a controlled substance with a 10-year maximum term of imprisonment.

The bills are now Public Acts 216-218 of 2014.

The governor also signed eight other public safety bills:

HB 4567, sponsored by state Rep. Eileen Kowall, enhances penalties for drunken driving. The bill doubles the maximum prison term for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated in cases that result in death or serious bodily injury to another person if the impaired driver has a blood alcohol content of .17 or higher and the accident occurred within seven years of a prior drunken driving conviction. It is now PA 219.

HB 4568, also sponsored by Kowall, amends the Code of Criminal Procedure to include the drunken driving felonies and sentencing guidelines proposed by HB 4567. It is now PA 220.

HBs 4895 and 4896, sponsored by state Rep. Klint Kesto, enhance penalties for knowingly buying, receiving, possessing or concealing a stolen motor vehicle in cases where the offender has one or more similar prior convictions. A second or subsequent offense of receiving or concealing a motor vehicle will be punishable with a maximum sentence of up to 10 years imprisonment. The bills are now PAs 221 and 222.

HB 5069, sponsored by state Rep. Kurt Heise, protects property owners when evicting “squatters” from their property. The bill clarifies that landlords are not liable for ejecting a person from their property who entered by force or is holding the property by force. Property owners can lawfully remove the squatter using force so long as their actions are not undertaken by any means that would constitute a criminal offense. It is now PA 223.

HBs 5070 and 5071, also sponsored by Heise, define “squatting” as the occupation of a single or two family dwelling without consent. Squatting is considered a criminal offense and is classified as a Class G property crime. First-time offenders would be charged with a 180-day misdemeanor and a potential fine of up to $5,000. Second-time offenders will face a $10,000 fine and not more than two years in prison. The bills are now PAs 224 and 225.

HB 5335, sponsored by state Rep. Brad Jacobsen, creates the Trespass Liability Act identifying the circumstances under which property owners may be liable for trespassers who are injured on their land. It is now PA 226.

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