A Southwest Ohio pastor who was speaking out in support of Issue 1, the state ballot issue that would provide drug users and possessors with treatment instead of jail time, is changing his mind.
Pastor Greg Delaney of Xenia works with drug addicts who are trying to beat the disease and said he had been working for Issue 1. He said he recorded an ad for it, but he said he’s learned more about it now and will now oppose it.
“The idea is great. The mechanism is flawed,” he said.
Delaney said the Christian Coalition of America paid him to support Issue 1, but he now has several issues with the proposed constitutional amendment.
He told the Columbus Dispatch that he changed his position after hearing that the possession of less than 20 grams of deadly drugs that are regularly killing Ohioans, such as fentanyl, would only be viewed as misdemeanors that do not come with jail time unless someone has more than two such offenses within 24 months.
Delaney added that it is highly unlikely the funding stream for treatment promised in Issue 1 will happen and it could prove to be costly.
“He was not paid for his endorsement for the campaign,” said Keith den Hollander, a spokesman for the Christian Coalition of America.
Den Hollander said Delaney was hired to do other work for the group.
A spokesman for the Issue 1 campaign, Dennis Willard, said he’s thankful for faith organizations and faith leaders for their support.