The San Diego Union Tribune: Better drug treatment is needed for California's youth
More than half of the youth in the juvenile justice system struggle with substance use disorders, a sad result of policies that incarcerate rather than support young people in trouble with drugs. When my older son was arrested at age 20 for marijuana possession, he was pushed into a criminal pipeline that only made things worse. It was behind bars that he learned to inject heroin.
Now we are following through on this promise with SB 275, authored by Sen. Anthony Portantino. This legislation will ensure that all funds spent on youth treatment programs, including funding from from Medi-Cal, federal grants and Proposition 64, meet quality standards set by experts and that families have a voice in the process.
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