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Politics

Bills Addressing Maine's Drug Epidemic Allowed Into Session

AUGUSTA, Maine — Addressing the state's growing drug problem was on the agenda as legislative leaders considered over 150 bills the previously had rejected or tabled.

One measure, sponsored by Sen. Scott Cyrway, a Republican from Benton, would bolster penalties for out-of-state drug traffickers.

"Maine has seen an alarming number of out-of-state drug traffickers arrested recently in our state," he says. "Thankfully, they have all been arrested. However, we cannot let these folks continue to view Maine as profitable and easily accessible area to sell their poison."

Another bill would provide additional treatment services for addicts to help replace recently closed facilities, while another would bolster drug education in public schools.

Leaders also approved a bill increasing state reimbursement rates to treatment centers and supported considering a pilot program to divert those arrested for drug possession into treatment programs.