Comments Off on O’Mara wants harsher penalties for meth crimes

State Sen. Tom O’Mara, R-Big Flats, is introducing legislation to stiffen criminal penalties for the manufacture, sale or possession of methamphetamine.

According to a 2009 report from the Rand Corporation, the economic cost of meth use in the United States reached nearly $24 billion in 2005 and could go as high as $48 billion.

The legislation has been introduced in the Assembly by Assemblyman Kevin Smardz, R-Erie County, and is co-sponsored by Assemblyman Phil Palmesano, R-Corning.

Meth manufacturing involves the use of highly explosive, flammable and toxic chemicals, and meth labs pose a significant public health and safety threat, especially if they’re located in residential neighborhoods, O’Mara said.

“We’ve seen an alarming and a troubling increase across the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions over the past year in the incidents of addiction, violence and tragedy that are the by-products of rampant methamphetamine production and use,” O’Mara said in a news release.

The changes would bring penalties in line with sanctions for possessing and/or selling cocaine or heroin, O’Mara said.


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