Prop. 64 Stakeholder Group: Prioritize Trauma-Informed Approach to Youth Substance Use Education, Prevention and Treatment

Proposition 64, the California Marijuana Legalization Initiative, was passed by a majority vote in the 2016 general election. This initiative legalized the adult use and sale of recreational cannabis, and imposed excise taxes on cultivation and sales. The revenue from both the cultivation and sales taxes - estimated to potentially reach up to $1 billion annually - are deposited in a new state account, the California Marijuana Tax Fund. Per the language of the initiative, monies in the account are to be first used to repay state agencies for costs related to regulation not covered by licensing fees, then $25-$65 million is to be allocated to specified research, evaluation and prevention purposes, including grants to communities most impacted by the war on drugs. The remaining revenues - and the largest portion of the total fund - are then to be allocated for three specific purposes: youth substance use education, prevention and treatment (60%); grants for prevention and mitigation of environmental impacts (20%); and grants to promote public health and safety (20%). [See the full breakdown of tax revenue allocation on page 94 of the Official Voter Information Guide.]

Following the passage of the initiative, a group of stakeholders representing youth-serving organizations and agencies across the state began meeting to take a look at how the funding allocated for youth substance use education, prevention and treatment could best be used to meet the needs of youth and honor the intent of voters. The attached document summarizes the consensus reached among the stakeholder group, and outlines specific recommendations to the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS), the California Department of Public Health (DPH), and the California Department of Education (CDE) regarding the planning, implementation and evaluation of use of these funds. A trauma-informed approach is identified as one of seven key guiding principles, and an awareness of the impacts of trauma and toxic-stress are infused throughout the recommendations.

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Mendocino County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) are partnering with First 5 and others to educate their Board of Supervisors- specifically asking for “20 by 2020”.  Meaning 20% of the MJ revenue will be set aside to support children by the year 2020. Their talking points and community stories are well organized and powerful.  Karen 

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