SPRINGFIELD – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today signed a new law with stiff penalties for methamphetamine manufacturers who cause fires or explosions. House Bill 3882 creates penalties for individuals whose efforts to manufacture an illegal drug are a contributing cause to a fire or explosion that damages a property that belongs to someone else.
“This law will help law enforcement on the frontlines, fighting the spread of meth,” said Gov. Blagojevich. “We hope this will serve as a deterrent for those who are creating the dangerous and explosive environment caused by producing meth.”
HB 3882, sponsored by Rep. Lisa Dugan (D-Kankakee) and Sen. William Haine (D-Alton), creates two new criminal offenses for drug manufacturers who cause or contribute to fires or explosions. “Controlled substance manufacturing arson” is a Class 1 Felony, carrying a sentence of 4 to 15 years. The second offense, “aggravated controlled substance manufacturing arson” carries an even stiffer penalty, occurs when there is damage to a building and there are people inside, someone is injured, or it’s someone else’s house. “Aggravated controlled substance manufacturing arson” is a Class X Felony, carrying a sentence of 15 to 50 years.
Meth is one of the most dangerous, potent and destructive drugs being abused today. The process of making meth, known as “cooking” is equally dangerous. Because volatile and flammable chemicals are used to produce the drug, meth lab fires or explosions are becoming more common. The Illinois State Police dismantled 971 meth labs in Illinois last year. And, authorities say meth is the fastest-growing drug in the nation.
HB 3882 becomes effective January 1, 2005.