COLUMBUS– Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine today emphasized his strong opposition to State Issue 1, which will appear on the November ballot.
“Issue 1 will make the existing drug epidemic far worse and erase the progress we have made in defeating this devastating crisis,” said DeWine. “Issue 1 is dangerous, reckless, will hurt addicts and take away some of the most effective tools had by judges and law enforcement personnel in helping people and saving lives.”
State Issue 1, submitted by petitioners as “The Neighborhood Safety, Drug Treatment, and Rehabilitation Amendment,” purports “to reduce the number of people in state prison for low-level, nonviolent drug possession or drug use offenses or for non-criminal probation violations and by providing sentence credits for participation in rehabilitative programs and to direct the savings achieved by such reductions in incarceration to drug treatment programs and other purposes.” But the amendment would result in eliminating prison sentences for those possessing large and extremely lethal amounts of illegal drugs and would place the public in grave danger.
Under State Issue 1, a person in possession of enough fentanyl to kill 10,000 Ohioans would no longer be subject to a prison sentence. Furthermore, the passage of the ballot issue would result in the release of 10,000 felony drug offenders into Ohio streets.
If Issue 1 passes and is amended into the state constitution, it will be extremely difficult to fix the flaws in the language.
“If this proposed constitutional amendment passes, Ohio would end up with some of the most lenient drug crime laws in the nation -- making Ohio a safe haven for drug dealers and giving the Mexican drug cartels a road map straight into our neighborhoods,” said DeWine. “Worst of all, this issue would result in fewer people in treatment, not more, and take a giant step backward in our work to end this dark chapter of addiction in our state and nation’s history.”
Mike DeWine has made fighting the opioid crisis a centerpiece of his administration as Ohio’s Attorney General. During his tenure, the state has shuddered all so-called “pill mills” and seized the licenses of over 100 doctors who were knowingly and dangerously over-prescribing opiate medication. He has made significant progress in fighting back against Mexican drug cartels and dealers peddling poison on Ohio streets and has proposed a 12-point action plan, “Recovery Ohio,” to fight the crisis. His proposal includes expanding drug courts and Ohio’s treatment capacity.