I read your article “Stuck on the list” (Nov. 12) and saw defense attorney Matt Guerrero mentioned, who represented me five years ago when I was arrested for being under the influence of speed. It was the first (and last) time I have ever been in trouble with the law.
I have held the same job for 20 years and am a high-school graduate with some college. I am not a criminal. However, I had been using drugs and alcohol since high school. I was what is called a “functioning addict.”
After being arrested I spent three days in jail and then immediately enrolled in Prop. 36. There was no waiting list. I think I started the day after I was released from the San Luis County jail. If it weren’t for Prop. 36 and the wonderful counselors in that program, it scares me to think of where I would be today. Prop. 36 was the best thing that ever happened to me. I completed the program and when it ended, I begged them to let me continue coming to the center. A few of my fellow offenders even laughed and made fun of me. I went ahead and attended the meetings at the Drug and Alcohol center in Arroyo Grande for about an additional three months, which changed my life: It absolutely, positively did!
After reading the article I felt disgusted, pissed off, and truthfully thought to myself how damn dumb this state has become! I am a shy person. I never speak up and have never given my opinion to anyone like this before. Thank you for the article.