Press Release  | 02/13/2003

Statewide Groups, Dozens of Health Care Professionals Oppose 'Realigning' Prop. 36

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Joint Letter to Gov. Davis, Senate Pres. Burton, Speaker Wesson Argues Against Budget Plan that Would Harm Initiative

SACRAMENTO, Feb. 13 - In a show of force today, more than 175 individuals and organizations concerned with Prop. 36 implementation joined in a letter to the governor and legislative leaders to argue against changing the ballot measure's guaranteed funding and oversight provisions.

"Prop. 36 simply doesn't work under the [Davisadministration's] realignment proposal," the letter reads. "In all likelihood, treatment quality will suffer, local government will be saddled with higher costs, and an inability to collect data will make it impossible for anyone to judge whether Prop. 36 is working or not." Organizations signing on to the letter include the California Nurses Association, California Society of Addiction Medicine, and California Public Defenders Association. Over 150 other individuals working in treatment programs and other social services agencies also added their voices by signing on.

In recent days, sponsors of the ballot measure have called the realignment plan "unlawful" and threatened to sue to block any proposal in court. The Davis administration indicated Tuesday that it is nonetheless proceeding with the plan, hoping to work out details in the coming weeks.

Whitney Taylor, director of Prop. 36 implementation for the Drug Policy Alliance, said, "Since the first day realignment was proposed, we have heard nothing but dire concern from the people on the front lines of Prop. 36 implementation. They fear that realignment will amount to turning back the clock to a time when drug treatment got shortchanged and the addicted were simply shipped off to prison instead."

Read the letter and list of signers.

Roberta Green, Campaign for New Drug Policies at (310) 394-2952 or Tony Newman, Drug Policy Alliance at (510) 208-7711

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