Santa Barbara judges this week celebrated the fifth anniversary of Prop 36 – which called for a court-supervised treatment diversion program for minor drug offenders – by holding graduation ceremonies in Santa Barbara and Santa Maria, where 37 offenders saw their charges dismissed for successfully completing the program and paying fines and fees as high as $8,000. Figures from the county’s Alcohol, Drugs, and Mental Heath Department were more positive, suggesting that 36 percent of Prop 36 enrollees had graduated; another 5 percent successfully completed treatment but failed to pay fines and fees. Meth was the drug of choice for most Santa Barbara participants; on the South Coast as a whole, methamphetamine and heroin users were evenly ranked.

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