Pubdate: Mon, 05 Feb 2007
Source: Topeka Capital-Journal (KS)
Address: 616 S.E. Jefferson, Topeka, Kansas 66607
Copyright: 2007 The The Topeka Capital-Journal
Author: Laura A. Green
Bookmark: (Methamphetamine)


There is no doubt that methamphetamine is a highly addictive drug 
that has serious health effects for the user and the community.

This year's proposal to combat meth is SB 14, a bill requiring 
persons convicted of manufacturing meth (as well as growing 
marijuana) to register on the KBI's offender Web site. It's oddly 
similar to pending legislation in 14 other states.

This bill is a feel-good initiative for legislators and a poor use of 
taxpayer dollars. It will do nothing to educate the public about the 
dangers of meth, and it won't deter anyone from trying it.

According to the state budget office, the cost to Shawnee County 
would be $50,000 in the first year alone. Given that the drug court 
is struggling to find $60,000, adding personnel to track people after 
they complete their sentences seems extravagant. There is no evidence 
to suggest that someone convicted of manufacturing a controlled 
substance is a public nuisance after he serves out his time. This is 
legislation in search of a problem. If the Legislature were truly 
interested in making our communities safer through offender 
registration, wouldn't it make more sense to register persons 
convicted of robbery or arson?

This bill should be rejected by fiscally responsible Kansans. 
Counties would be better off spending money on re-entry programs so 
people can be successful when they leave prison than for deputies to 
publish addresses on a Web site.

Laura A. Green, executive director

Drug Policy Forum of Kansas

- ---
MAP posted-by: Beth Wehrman