Governor Signs Laws Toughening Penalties On Manufacturing Crystal Meth, Protecting Children From Meth Production

From The Office of Governor John Lynch

CONCORD - Gov. John Lynch today signed into law legislation toughening penalties for producing crystal methamphetamine in New Hampshire, and ceremonially signed a law aimed at providing greater protections for children and incapacitated adults who live in homes where crystal meth is produced.

"We are seeing an increase in the production, sale and use of crystal methamphetamine here in New Hampshire. Left unchecked, the growth in crystal methamphetamine production and use presents a serious threat to the health and safety of our citizens," Gov. Lynch said. "We must prevent crystal meth from gaining a bigger foothold in our state, and that is what the laws that I signed today are designed to do."

Gov. Lynch signed House Bill 1667. Under this new law, which takes effect Jan. 1, persons convicted of manufacturing - or attempting to manufacture -- crystal meth will face prison sentences of up to 30 years, and fines of up to $500,000.

"The State of New Hampshire considers crystal meth a serious danger to the health of our citizens and to the safety of our children. And if you are caught manufacturing crystal meth in New Hampshire, you will face serious time in prison," Gov. Lynch said.

Gov. Lynch also ceremonially signed HB 1745. Under this new law, which was effective as of May 19, 2006, someone who knowingly allows a child or incapacitated adult to inhale or be exposed to meth will face a felony prison sentence of up to five years - on top of any other charges they may face.

Often the biggest victims of crystal meth are not the users or the manufacturers, but the vulnerable people-children or incapacitated adults - who live in the homes where they make crystal meth. They face risks from explosions at the labs, and from exposure to toxic fumes.

"These labs endanger children who happen to be playing, or sleeping in the next room. It puts them in danger of something going wrong in the meth lab, and taking their lives immediately. And it puts them in danger of lifelong health problems," Gov. Lynch said.

HB 1667 was sponsored by Representatives Deborah Hogancamp, Bill Knowles, Jim MacKay, Suzanne Harvey, and William Butynski, and Senators John Gallus and Bob Clegg.

HB 1745 was sponsored by Representatives Suzanne Harvey, Jim Pilliod, Mary Stuart Gile, Deborah Hogancamp, Bill Knowles and Senators Martel and D'Allesandro.