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Toxic materials used to produce meth

Landmark legislation signed into law this summer will keep methamphetamine makers out of communities and in jail, helping to protect children, families, farmers, and communities from the extraordinary dangers of meth manufacture.

Senate Bill 562, known as the Methamphetamine Control and Community Protection Act (MCCPA), was signed into law in August 2005 and took effect 30 days later. The bill was drafted by the Office of Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and sponsored by a bipartisan group of legislators.

Madigan proposed the MCCPA, which contains a major rewrite of the state’s criminal laws dealing with meth, to group those laws together and address the differences between methamphetamine and other drugs targeted by the Illinois Controlled Substances Act.

Unlike other drugs that may be imported and then sold and abused in the state, additional dangers arise because meth is also manufactured in the state. Unfortunately, meth manufacture can cause just as much harm – sometimes more harm – than its distribution and use. The MCCPA offers greater protection to those who are most endangered by the manufacture of meth in Illinois, including children, law enforcement, families, and entire communities in areas affected by meth.

A key provision of the MCCPA is a new offense called Aggravated Participation in Meth Manufacturing, a Class X Felony mandating jail time.

This new offense better protects children who are exposed to the dangerous production of methamphetamine by ensuring mandatory jail time for those who manufacture meth where children reside, are present, or are endangered by meth making.

The new offense also addresses the dangers to families who live in multi-unit dwellings where meth is produced. Under the bill, those who manufacture meth in hotels, motels, apartment buildings, or condominiums also face mandatory jail time.

In addition, the MCCPA protects communities by giving law enforcement critical new tools to address the manufacture of meth, including a new offense to deal with those who shop for, transport, or assemble meth making materials other than pseudoephedrine, ephedrine, or anhydrous ammonia (materials already covered by the law). Such materials would include, for example, lithium batteries, camping fuel, paint thinner, drain cleaner, starter fluid, brake cleaner, and gas additives.

The legislation also protects farmers, who often are endangered by meth makers stealing anhydrous ammonia, a fertilizer. The legislation imposes tougher penalties on those who steal anhydrous ammonia for the purpose of making meth.

Madigan’s bill garnered support from the Illinois State Police, the Illinois Sheriffs’ Association, the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, the Illinois Drug Enforcement Officers’ Association, the Illinois Metropolitan Enforcement Group Commanders and Drug Task Force Directors, the Illinois State’s Attorneys’ Appellate Prosecutor’s Office, the Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association, and the Illinois Academy of Family.

For additional information, please visit MethNet's Meth Laws and Legislation section.

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