House Bill 5088, legislation introduced by state Representative John Kivela (D-Marquette), was discussed in the House Criminal Justice Committee today as part of a bipartisan package of legislation aimed at battling methamphetamine production in Michigan. The bill would create a stop-sale notification through the existing National Precursor Log Exchange (NPLEx) for any individual with a felony drug conviction trying to purchase a product containing pseudoephedrine (PSE). Those 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,” said Kivela. “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, who testified on behalf of HB 5088 at the committee hearing, added, “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.”

Along with HB 5088, HBs 5089 and 5090 were introduced by Reps. Bob Genetski (R-Saugatuck) and Aric Nesbitt (R-Lawton), respectively. These bills work together to tackle what is called “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.

Kivela, Nesbitt and Genetski worked together in a bipartisan fashion to create and co-sponsor these bills that will battle meth production around the state.

“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.”