TOPEKA --- On March 18, the House Corrections and Juvenile Justice Committee voted House Bill 2396 out of committee. The bill amends Senate Bill 123, which established a drug treatment program for certain people in possession of drugs. HB 2396 would open this program to people who cultivate and/or distribute drugs.

Senate bill 123, regarding drug abuse treatment programs for drug-related offenders, was passed in 2003 but did not include the unlawful cultivation or distribution of controlled substances.

Earlier in the 2019 legislative session, House Bill 2045 was proposed with the same intention and phrasing as HB 2396 but was stricken from the calendar for failing to meet its deadline.

The Division of the Budget estimates HB 2396 would “increase annual expenditures for substance abuse treatment from the State General Fund by a minimum of $1.1 million for 284 offenders beginning in 2020.”

Grant Heiman is a University of Kansas junior from Wichita majoring in journalism.

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