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Ohio would be drug dealer capital of U.S. if Issue 1 passes, says dad who lost two kids to overdoses

Emotions run high on both sides
Posted at 4:53 AM, Nov 05, 2018

CINCINNATI - Roger Winemiller lost two kids to drug overdoses. Beth Bullock lost one.

Both are on the same side of the hottest election issue in Ohio.

Both oppose Issue 1.

"Ohio would be the drug dealer capital of the United States" if Issue 1 passes, Winemiller said.

“Totally opposed to it,” said Bullock.

Issue 1 would amend the state constitution to reduce penalties for using and possessing drugs like heroin, meth and cocaine. Those charges would become misdemeanors.

RELATED: Music superstar John Legend campaigns in Cincinnati for Issue 1

Winemiller, who lives in Blanchester, said he doesn’t want another parent to feel his heartbreak.

"In 2016, I lost them nine months apart -  Easter Eve and one five days before Christmas,” Winemiller said.

"If I was granted one wish in life, that not one other family would have to go through the pain and hell I've been through."

Winemiller calls Issue 1 "a recipe for disaster all the way around. There's really nothing good about it."

Bullock, who lives in Bethel, said Issue 1 would tie judges’ hands and put the burden on the addict to seek help.

"I work with people who have said many times the only reason I'm alive is because the judge sentenced me to a program," said Bullock.

 Don’t believe it when some addicts say they want treatment, Bullock said.

 "This issue passing is going to say we're going to send them out and they'll go to treatment. That's a good idea. It doesn't work that way.

“They'll sit there all day long and tell you they want to go to treatment, want help. ‘Get me out of this. This is hell.’

“The first call they get, they're out the door," Bullock said.

Charles Wallner, executive director of the Faith and Community Alliance, is on the other side.  Wallner says his organization endorses Issue 1.

"The problem has already occurred. You're coming from behind to deal with it. If you keep coming from behind to deal with it, you'll have some successes, that's true. But you're not dealing with the people coming through the process in the first place," Wallner said.

Wallner said Issue 1 has “some faults in it. You can make corrections on faults.”

At that, he believes it's a good first step to getting people who aren't violent offenders out of overcrowded prisons.

"How many demonstrations do you need? Will you take action? I think right now Issue 1 says you at least need to take action," Wallner said.