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November 13, 2008
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Gov Proposes Alcohol Tax to Fund Treatment

Just weeks after finally reaching agreement on a 2008-09 state budget (and just two days after the state went to the polls), the governor proposed an ambitious plan to keep the state afloat. The plan combines spending cuts and tax increases – including an increase in excise taxes on alcoholic beverages.

The tax, which works out to a nickel a drink (1.5 ounces of spirits, 12 ounces of beer, or 5 ounces of wine), would take effect January 1, 2009. This tax would be expected to generate $293 million in 2008-09 and $585 million in 2009-10.

Although not dedicated for treatment, the governor’s office has said it “proposes” using the revenue for drug and alcohol abuse treatment and prevention programs.

Treatment advocates have been warned that, without this tax, funding for alcohol and drug treatment could receive virtually no state funding this budget year. That would force counties to shoulder the burden, which would inevitably lead to interrupted services and lengthy – and costly – litigation battles.


Common Sense for Drug Policy
California Society of Addiction Medicine
California State Association of Counties

Read commentary from Oliver H., a Prop 36 graduate.

Get the Facts
Over a dozen Proposition 36 fact sheets are available for download. Topics include: the Effectiveness of Drug Treatment, Drug Courts/Deferred Entry, and the California Correctional System.
breakdowns of the 2000 initiative votes
For background on the Prop. 36 campaign and other votes nationwide for drug policy reform, see:

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Drug Policy Alliance · (916) 444-3751 · [email protected]