A piece of legislation that would allow California to pay drug users for testing clean, using Medi-Cal, a taxpayer funded program, could be signed into law. Lessening restrictions on dangerous drugs has been met with harsh criticism, especially from San Diego District Attorney Summer Stephan.
The legislation states that, as an incentive for staying clean, addicts will receive a payment for each negative test. Treatment can last for several months, meaning this could result in hundreds
San Diego county has been hard hit this year with a growing wave of drug overdoses and drug related deaths. According to the DA’s office, they are expecting the number of drug overdose deaths to be close to 700 by the conclusion of the year.
DA Stephan said in a statement “We’ve been sounding this alarm for years, but the problem is only getting worse. Our office continues to focus on awareness campaigns while at the same time stepping up our prosecutions of street dealers who know their product is suspect in an attempt to try and save lives.”
The bill’s author, Democratic Sen. Scott Wiener, is extremely familiar with introducing progressive legislation. Wiener is also responsible for authoring other progressive bills such as decriminalizing psychedelic drugs, and decriminalizing loitering with the intent to prostitute.
“This bill would expand substance use disorder services to include contingency management services as an optional benefit under the Drug Medi-Cal organized delivery system, as specified, subject to utilization controls,” SB-110 reads.
Despite Weiner’s bills to decriminalize dangerous drugs and pay drug addicts with taxpayer money, San Diego county is stepping up their prosecution of drug dealers under Stephan’s direction. The DA’s office also is utilizing social media to promote awareness about drug abuse. Stephan shares weekly updates and information on how parents can be alert to signs of drug abuse in kids and young adults.