Issue 1

opioids and prescription medicine bottle
Flickr

There is one statewide issue on the ballot in this November’s election. Issue 1 proposes to reduce prison overcrowding in Ohio by reducing the sentences of non-violent, low-level drug offenders. Opponents argue, among other things, that it would make it harder to prosecute drug traffickers and take away power from judges to sentence or seek rehab where appropriate.

Paul Vernon / Associated Press

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The leader of the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus joined with some Cleveland City Council members and other local officials to support Issue 1 at a news conference Thursday morning.

The proposed constitutional amendment would reduce penalties for drug possession, reclassifying lower-level felonies as misdemeanors. It would also allow incarcerated people, with some exceptions, to shorten their prison sentences by taking part in job and education programs.  

Associated Press

Early voting is now underway in Ohio, which has seen strong Republican wins in the last two midterm election cycles. But many are wondering about the impact of an increase in registered voters in a midterm year that looks good nationwide for Democrats.

Ohio House

As groupsassociations, and individual polticians around Ohio line up against a statewide ballot issue to cut jail time for some drug offenders, one group remains steadfast in their support.

Coroner's Office sign
Lexington County Coroner's Office / Facebook

The Ohio State Coroners Association has come out adamantly against the only issue on the statewide ballot, saying they can’t support any measure that makes it more difficult to prosecute drug dealers and traffickers.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Richard Cordray, left, and Ohio Attorney General and Republican gubernatorial candidate Mike DeWine wave to the crowd before a debate at Marietta College on Monday.
Paul Vernon / Associated Press

The Republican and Democratic candidates for governor met for their second face-to-face debate, this time taking questions from an audience and via social media at Marietta College.

The candidates were asked about energy, education, the environment and ECOT, the online charter school that closed earlier this year owing millions of dollars to the state for overinflating student attendance.

The Libertarian candidate for governor has weighed in on Ohio Issue 1, known as the Drug and Criminal Justice Policies Initiative. In a statement Monday, Travis Irvine called the ballot measure “imperfect,” but “a step in the right direction."

A conservative think tank is sending out a warning that Issue 1 could bring expensive, unintended consequences. But the group adds it’s unfortunate because the measure to steer drug users away from prison and towards treatment has merit. 

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Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein and Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien have come out against Issue 1, arguing their own plan is more effective.

Steve Dettelbach, Democratic Attorney General nominee
Tony Dejak / Associated Press

A nominee for statewide office is breaking away from the top of the ticket when it comes to Issue 1. The constitutional amendment would reduce criminal sentences for non-violent drug offenders, and it’s becoming a major issue for several campaigns. 

One of Cuyahoga County’s drug court judges joined Republican gubernatorial candidate Mike DeWine in opposing opposing state Issue 1, which would reduce penalties for drug possession.

Judge Joan Synenberg, who presides over one of the county’s two drug dockets, spoke alongside DeWine at a campaign event Monday.

Drug courts put defendants on a plan to receive treatment in exchange for having their case dismissed. Fifty-five counties in Ohio have at least one drug docket.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich
Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Gov. John Kasich says he’ll do what many of his fellow Republicans say they’ll do this fall when it comes to the statewide ballot issue that would change criminal sentencing to prefer treatment over prison time.

Scales of justice
William Cho / Pixabay

The President of the Ohio State Bar Association, an organization with over 20,000 lawyers and judges among its membership, is speaking out against Issue 1, the statewide November ballot measure aimed at reducing penalties for low-level drug crimes.

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