Ohio Votes to Stay Tough on Drug Offenders

ohio votes to stay tough on drug offenders

Ohio voters overwhelmingly defeated a statewide referendum that would have amended the state constitution and soften penalties on some drug offenders. Issue 1 was defeated on November 6, with over 63% of voters rejecting the measure.

Issue 1, according to news outlet Cleveland.com, “would have reclassified possession, use and obtaining all drugs to misdemeanors and would have prohibited sending people to prison for drug offenses until the third offense in 24 months.” Furthermore, the measure would have prevented judges from sentencing some drug offenders until their third offense.

Opponents of Issue 1 included law enforcement officers, judges and other Ohio criminal justice officials. They argued that the measure stripped judges of their power to sentence drug offenders on case-by-case merits. Vote No Protect Ohio, a group who organized against Issue 1, stated on its website that Issue 1 would, “undermine treatment, and expose Ohio neighborhoods and families to more deadly drugs on the street, carried by offenders who know they can’t be jailed because of Issue 1’s scrapping of our drug laws.”

Ohio voters clearly agreed.

National Police Support Fund helped support opposition to Issue 1 after hearing the outcry of law enforcement officials across Ohio who believed that it would make the drug problem worse in their state. We believe the voters of Ohio made an incredibly wise decision by rejecting Issue 1 at the polls. National Police Support Fund was proud to stand against Issue 1 with the law enforcement community in Ohio.