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Montana Ballot Initiative Would Direct Alcohol Taxes to Treatment, Prevention

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Montana Supreme Court Justice and former Attorney General Mike McGrath has unveiled a ballot initiative that would earmark $5 million per year in state alcohol taxes to pay for addiction treatment, prevention, and drug/DUI courts, KFBB-TV reported Feb. 9.

The Montana Alcohol Abuse and Drug-Free Plan was announced during McGrath's recent appearance before the legislature's Law & Justice Interim Committee.

“It seems like every week, Montanans are confronting headlines and news stories about repeat DUI offenders,” said McGrath. “And, sadly, every community in this state has coped with deaths and serious injuries caused by drunk driving and drug use … It is clear to all of us that Montanans want to find solutions for the substance-abuse tragedy in Montana. This initiative would provide much-needed funds to Montana courts, law enforcement and the health care and treatment communities.”

Montana collects about $36 million each year in alcohol taxes. The Montana Coalition for Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention filed the proposed question with the Secretary of State's office, and now must gather 24,337 signatures to qualify for the November ballot.

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