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Drug Rehabilitation

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State Issue 1, Ohio's drug sentencing ballot amendment, has failed at the polls.

New Hampshire State Forensic Lab

Voters in Ohio will see one statewide issue on the ballot. Supporters have said this constitutional amendment will steer non-violent drug offenders away from prison and into treatment. But opponents claim it will dismantle the work Ohio has already done to curb the opioid epidemic. 

Pastor Greg Delaney, who previously supported Issue 1, works to help drug addicts.
Jo Ingles / Ohio Public Radio

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.

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.  

Democratic Representative Stephanie Howse.
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.

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.

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.

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.

Ohio Republican Governor candidate Mike DeWine speaks while running mate Jon Husted looks on.
John Minchillo / Associated Press

A woman recovering from drug addiction is joining the Republican candidate for Ohio governor in fighting against a November ballot issue to reduce prison time for non-violent drug offenders.

Ohio Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor
Ohio Channel

The top justice of the Ohio Supreme Court is speaking out on a constitutional amendment on the fall ballot, which would require low-level drug offenders be charged with misdemeanors, not felonies.

Ohio House

In this week's Snollygoster, Ohio's politics podcast from WOSU Public Media, Mike Thompson and Steve Brown discuss the allegations of extortion against former Ohio House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger.

Southern Ohio Correctional Facility located in Lucasville, Ohio.
Daniel Konik / Ohio Public Radio

Secretary of State Jon Husted, who’s also the Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, has announced the official title for the only statewide issue that’s on the fall ballot. Backers say the wording means they have work to do.

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