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Options are available for those facing drug charges in Maryland

For people in Maryland who are facing drug charges, viewing law enforcement officers as the enemy is common. A symposium sponsored by the Maryland Association of Counties showed that not all law enforcement officials see people who have drug problems as bad people.

The commander of the northern command of the criminal enforcement division of the Maryland State Police was quick to point out that people on drugs aren't bad people. Instead, he says they only made bad choices.

This train of thought is the basis for two programs that are trying to help people who have drug problems to overcome the addiction instead of just sentencing them to prison where there aren't any suitable drug rehabilitation programs. The Maryland court systems now have to take a lead role in helping to reduce the drug problem in the state.

One program is a 90-day diversion program that is offered by the Circuit Court of Baltimore City. If the offender successfully completes a diversion program, the drug charges are dropped. This program, however, isn't available to all drug offenders. Instead, it is only open to those who are facing misdemeanor charges.

Another program that is being used in Maryland is the drug court program. Under this program, the judge has the power to issue rehabilitation requirements for participants. The judge can also issue other sanctions as part of the program. Only minor offenses are covered by the drug court program, so that limits participation.

Anyone who is facing drug charges might be able to benefit from one of the programs offered. Learning about the program requirements might make it easier to determine if asking to participate in one might help you.

Source: Cecil Daily, "Law enforcement agencies try to track, treat addicts" Cheryl Mattix, Jun. 15, 2014

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