Committee Endorses Bill Sponsored by AG Coakley, Senator Timilty, Chairman Kafka to Establish Crime of Meth Trafficking
BOSTON – A bill that would combat the growing problem of trafficking of methamphetamine was reported out favorably by the Joint Committee on the Judiciary, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced today.
“An Act Relative to Trafficking in Methamphetamine,” co-sponsored by Senator James Timilty (D-Walpole) and Representative Louis L. Kafka (D-Stoughton) and filed in January 2011, adds methamphetamines to the statute criminalizing the trafficking of narcotics to combat the growing problem of trafficking in methamphetamine.
“This vital update to our current laws will help combat the trafficking of this highly addictive and dangerous drug that is becoming more and more prevalent in our communities,” AG Coakley said. “This bill establishes trafficking in methamphetamines as a crime so that those who transport large amounts of the narcotics will be subject to higher penalties, which will keep those convicted of trafficking off the streets and deter others from participating in this behavior.”
“Amending the drug trafficking law to include methamphetamines is critical to protecting public safety in this day and age. Unfortunately, new drugs come into the market often and we must bring our laws up to date to ensure traffickers receive appropriate punishment,” said Senator Timilty. “This is particularly true given the extremely dangerous nature of meth and its now widespread use in the Commonwealth.”
“The Attorney General has done a great job in getting people to understand that law enforcement and the Judiciary should have all the necessary tools to deal with the growing problem of meth in our communities,” said Kafka. “I’m pleased that this bill was reported favorably and hopefully we’ll have it on Governor Patrick’s desk soon.”
In recent years, Massachusetts law enforcement has seen a huge increase in the use and large-scale distribution of methamphetamine, a highly addictive and dangerous stimulant drug. Criminal drug trafficking laws in Massachusetts were most recently and significantly amended in the early 1980s and again in the early 1990s, before the widespread manufacture and use of meth was seen in the Commonwealth. Although state drug trafficking laws include dangerous drugs such as cocaine and heroin, they do not currently address trafficking in meth, preventing local law enforcement from being able to bring appropriate criminal charges against those who traffic the drug. This legislation adds methamphetamines to G.L. c. 32E, §94C, the statute criminalizing the trafficking of narcotics.