Stephen Gutwillig at 323-542-2606 or Tony Newman at 646-335-5384
The California Assembly’s Alcohol and Drug Abuse Select Committee, chaired by Assemblymember Jim Beall Jr., will hold a special hearing on June 19. at Los Angeles County USC Medical Center. Assemblymember Kevin de Leon will host a rally and news conference at 10 a.m. before the hearing.
The hearing will focus on the cost of alcohol’s harm to California and cuts that would eliminate Proposition 36, California’s landmark treatment-instead-of-incarceration program. The committee members will discuss alternatives to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s proposed cuts, including the concept of raising levies on alcohol to help pay for alcohol-related accidents, emergency medical and trauma care, treatment programs, and law enforcement costs.
Stephen Gutwillig, California state director of the Drug Policy Alliance, will denounce the elimination of $90 million in funding for Prop 36 and urge members of the committee to make up those funds by reducing state resources directed at low-level drug possession offenders. Reducing the impact of drug possession offenses on the criminal justice system would cut annual costs by $500 million to $1.1 billion. Proposed additional revenues on alcoholic beverages could bring in $585 million to $1.4 billion. These changes amount to up to $2.5 billion a year.
What: Assembly Select Committee on Alcohol and Drug Abuse Hearing
When: June 19, 2009
10 a.m. – Rally/news conference (top steps of New Hospital’s main entrance)
11:30 a.m.- Informational hearing (Inpatient Tower, 1st floor conference room)
Where: Los Angeles County USC Medical Center, 2051 Marengo St., Los Angeles, CA 90033 (Parking is available in Lot 9D located at 1950 Marengo St.)