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Commonwealth Prevention Alliance

Our Vision: CPA will continue to be the foremost voice of Prevention in PA. Our Mission: To support prevention professionals in eliminating substance abuse and risk-related behaviors.
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News and Advocacy
Here is how to navigate this section of our webpage:  
     "Legislation" page offers news about current legislation that affects prevention services
     "Contact Legislators" page offers links to the US Congress and PA General Assembly
     "Positions & Policies" page has the Commonwealth Prevention Alliance (CPA) and CPA member agency position papers, as well as State and Federal policy statements.

Here are two "CPA Legislative Keys" that you may use for talking points when discussing substance-abuse prevention with your legislator:


Issue: Legalization of Marijuana

PA Senate Bill 1182: An Act providing for the medical use of cannabis in the Commonwealth of PA. This link has the Bill Information and History. This 2013-14 "medical marijuana" bill passed the Senate, 43-7, in September 2014 but did not move to the House. In October 2014, this bill was referred to the House Judiciary Committee, where it is pending.

A Position Paper Drug Free Action Alliance and the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Association of Ohio “Marijuana as Medicine”

DRUG FREE ACTION ALLIANCE POLICY STATEMENT: Marijuana should be subject to the same research, consideration and study as any other potential medicine, under the standards of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Legalizing marijuana for medical use should not be decided by legislative or voter initiative.

CADCA Statement on DOJ Decision to Not Challenge State Laws that Legalize Marijuana

Read about CPA's views against the legalization of marijuana in PA 

National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP) Position Statement on Marijuana (12/15/12)

Note: In the fall of 2012, voters in Washington and Colorado approved the legalization of marijuana for recreation use. A similar measure in Oregon was defeated. Read more at


Issue: Privatization of PA Liquor Stores


On July 2, 2015, Governor Wolf vetoed the legislation that would privatize the state liquor system.


July 2, 2015: CPA supports Governor Wolf’s veto of legislation that would privatize the state liquor system.  Part of CPA’s efforts focus on reducing alcohol abuse. As drug and alcohol prevention professionals, our main concern is the effect on public health and safety related to underage drinking, alcohol addiction, and alcohol-related crimes such as driving under the influence. 

As a “control state” in regards to the sale of liquor, PA takes ownership of the product.   Results of a recent US study indicated: 

• Control states had significantly fewer youth reporting past 30-day drinking and binge drinking.  It also showed that rates of alcohol-impaired drinking deaths were 9.3% lower than in license states. According to PIRE (Pacific Institute of Research and Evaluation) an increase in sales of wine and spirits would lead to an increase in underage drinking with approximately 25% of the increased sales going to teens and young adults under the age of 21.

• Control states have lower per capita spirits sales and lower per capita consumption of wine and spirits.

• Control states have liquor store employees who are trained, are more vigilant in checking for identification, and have no motivation to sell to underage individuals.

• Control states have less retail outlets per capita than license states. When outlet density increases, so do alcohol sales, along with an increase in alcohol-related problems for youth and adults. 

Some of these alcohol-related problems for youth and adults include:

• Deaths and injuries from accidents, homicides, violent assaults, suicides, alcohol-related diseases such as cirrhosis, fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, reduced worker productivity, worker absenteeism, alcoholism, and increased crime. 

These alcohol-related problems can result in increased costs to the criminal justice system/facilities, healthcare and medical costs, property loss and damage, education system, insurance, employers and businesses 

Alcohol abuse does not end with the above mentioned issues, but continues to impact individuals and families as a gateway to other illicit drug use, alcohol-related illnesses, domestic abuse, and other violent crimes. 

The Commonwealth Prevention Alliance is in full support of Governor Wolf’s veto of this piece of legislation.  We appreciate and thank Governor Wolf for his strong and decisive leadership regarding this topic and the effects it will have on PA residents.

On Jan 30, 2013, Governor Tom Corbett unveiled his proposal for privatizing the PA Liquor stores. Read the details on Gov Corbett's webpage. Read CPA Position Paper on privatization to get the facts about how privatization is linked to underage drinking. We urge you to educate yourself and then to contact your legislator with your views. 


CPA's position against privatization is based on the recommendations and findings of the Center for Disease Control's Task Force on Community Preventive Services (February 2011.) In summary,


"Based on its charge to identify effective disease and injury prevention measures, the Task Force on Community Preventive Services recommends against the further privatization of alcohol sales in settings with current government control of retail sales, based on strong evidence that privatization results in increased per capita alcohol consumption, a well-established proxy for excessive consumption."


See CPA's position paper at "News & Advocacy - Positions & Policies" (6/21/11)


Also see "Underage Drinking in PA: The Facts" by the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation (PIRE), September 2011.  From this article: "Underage drinking cost the citizens of Pennsylvania $2.1 billion in 2010. These costs include medical care, work loss, and pain and suffering associated with the multiple problems resulting from the use of alcohol by youth."


Also see The Morning Call blog "New Radio Ad Hits GOP Leader Turzai On Proposed State Store Sale" 7/19/11