CHPA Applauds Michigan Legislature For Action Against Meth Criminals

Legislation Would Enhance Penalties Against "Smurfers"

Washington, D.C. (June 17, 2014) – The Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) today applauded the Michigan House and Senate for recently passing legislation that would address the state’s methamphetamine problem by targeting meth criminals. Last week, the legislature passed a package of bills authored by Senator John Proos, and Reps. Amanda Price, Bob Genetski, and Aric Nesbitt that will provide law enforcement officials with proven tools to crack down on meth-related crime at its source.

 Specifically, the legislation includes the implementation of a meth offender block list, which will work with the state’s real-time, electronic blocking system to prohibit individuals convicted of meth-related crime from being able to purchase pseudoephedrine-based medicines without a prescription for ten years after conviction. The legislature also passed a measure that will significantly broaden the criminal penalty for the practice known as “smurfing,” when individuals purchase pseudoephedrine containing medicines on behalf of a meth cook. The legislation now moves to Governor Snyder’s office for his approval.

 “Michigan lawmakers scored a major victory last week by passing this comprehensive package of anti-meth bills,” said Carlos Gutierrez, senior director and head of state government affairs for the Consumer Healthcare Products Association. “Leaders like Senator Proos and Representatives Price, Genetski, and Nesbitt should be commended for sponsoring balanced policies that target criminals without burdening responsible law-abiding consumers. Moreover, these programs are proven to work. Other states that have adopted similar policies – such as a statewide meth offender registry – have seen drastic reductions in meth lab incidents since their inception. Oklahoma for example, saw a more than 50 percent reduction in the number of meth lab incidents just a year after passing a similar measure.”

 “While there may be no ‘silver-bullet’ solution to stopping meth abuse or production, we believe this package of bills represents an important step in Michigan’s battle against the illegal diversion of pseudoephedrine. We appreciate the leadership displayed by Governor Snyder, the Michigan State Police, and other officials on this matter.  We look forward to Governor Snyder’s approval of the legislation.”

 Contact Elizabeth Funderburk 202.429.9260

The Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) is the 133-year-old trade association representing the leading manufacturers and marketers of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines and dietary supplements. Every dollar spent by consumers on OTC medicines saves the U.S. healthcare system $6-$7, contributing a total of $102 billion in savings each year. CHPA is committed to promoting the increasingly vital role of over-the-counter medicines and dietary supplements in America’s healthcare system through science, education, and advocacy.