Ohio-based community activists cleared one hurdle in their campaign for the “Neighborhood Safety, Drug Treatment and Rehabilitation” amendment.
The proposed constitutional amendment is meant to reduce the number of people locked up in state prisons for low-level drug crimes and get them credit for time served in treatment instead.
If passed by voters, the amendment would reduce nonviolent drug crimes to misdemeanors, and would also direct state money saved from a smaller prison population into drug treatment programs.
The Ohio Ballot Board panel says supporters can now circulate petitions to put the issue on the ballot. Supporters will need to collect more than 300,000 valid petition signatures by July to put the issue on the 2018 statewide fall ballot – that’s equal to 10 percent of the total vote cast for governor in 2014.