Gov. Pat Quinn has signed three new laws to fight the use and manufacture of illegal drugs in Illinois.
The laws toughen penalties for meth manufacture near schools, add certain synthetic drugs to the Controlled Substances Act and prohibit anyone younger than 18 from purchasing or possessing any product containing the herbal drug Kratom.
“Dangerous substances have no place near our schools or children,” Quinn said. “These laws will help ensure that drugs stay away from these special places of learning. To those who choose to violate the law and manufacture the drug, today we are sending a strong message — these harmful drugs do not belong anywhere near our children.”
House Bill 4093, sponsored by State Rep. Daniel Beiser (D-Alton) and State Sen. William Haine (D-Alton), increases the penalty for methamphetamine, or meth, manufacture if it occurs within 1,000 feet of any school property.
The offense is now classified as aggravated participation in methamphetamine manufacture, a Class X felony with tougher penalties than the Class 1 felony of participation in methamphetamine manufacture. The possible sentences for breaking the law are now a minimum of six years in prison, with up to 60 years possible, and fines up to $400,000 or the total street value of the drug. The new law is effective Jan. 1, 2015.
“I introduced House Bill 4093 after a very serious situation was brought to my attention by the South Roxana Police Department involving methamphetamine manufacture near a daycare,” Beiser said. “I was shocked to discover our current law had a loophole in its language regarding proximity to what constituted school property. House Bill 4093 closes this dangerous loophole. I want to thank the law enforcement community for bringing this to my attention so that we can work together to protect schoolchildren and prosecute those reckless criminals who would otherwise put them in harm’s way.”
“The evils of meth are all around us. It destroys individuals, families and neighborhoods,” Haine said. “Meth is a highly addictive and disruptive substance. There is no redeeming social value in the manufacture of meth.”
Quinn also signed Senate Bill 3275, which adds the synthetic drugs 25-I, 25-C and 25-B to the listed of controlled substances which are illegal to manufacture, deliver or possess with the intent to distribute. These hallucinogenic substances have been available for purchase online and are linked to a number of serious or fatal reactions, particularly among high school students. The new law takes effect Jan. 1, 2015.
The governor also signed House Bill 5526, which makes it illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to purchase or possess any product containing the herbal drug Kratom and also makes it illegal for anyone to sell or provide Kratom to a minor. This stimulant made from leaves indigenous to southeast Asia can mimic the effects of heroin or frequently abused painkillers in higher doses. The new law takes effect Jan. 1, 2015.