Last updated: July 17. 2013 1:34PM - 249 Views

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Rachel Dove-Baldwin

Staff Writer

CHARLESTON – Delegate Justin Marcum (D-Mingo, Logan) has introduced House Bill 2495 to his fellow house members that would make it a law that all drug offenders be mandated to participate in a drug treatment program, as part of their sentencing or plea agreement.

The program would be funded by the participants, while the rules for the program would be made by the Division of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse in collaboration with the Division of Court Services and the Division of Magistrate Court Services of the Administrative Office of the Courts.

“I introduced this bill with the hope to decrease the state’s recidivism rate,” stated Marcum. “Drug usage has become a problem we can no longer ignore, and I believe this bill is a step in the right direction.”

“It is extremely important that we have a penalty phase for drug dealers and abusers, especially repeat offenders, but we must also tackle the problem through treatment and rehabilitation.”

“We can’t resolve the problem until we eliminate the cause and find a way to overcome the addiction that has such a stronghold on our communities and our state.”

Marcum is the lead sponsor on the bill. The co-sponsors are Delegates Cliff Moore (D-McDowell), Josh Stowers (D-Lincoln), Doug Skaff (D-Kanawha), Eric Nelson (R-Kanawha), Michael T. Ferro (D-Marshall), Ryan J. Ferns (D-Ohio), Adam Young (D-Nicholas), Stephen Skinner (D-Jefferson), Isaac Sponaugle (D-Pendleton), and Daniel Poling (D-Wood).

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