What is Issue 1 in Ohio and what will it mean for Ohioans?

Posted at 6:40 PM, Sep 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-18 18:40:52-04

CINCINNATI -- One of the hot-button issues on the upcoming Ohio midterms is State Issue 1, titled "The Neighborhood Safety, Drug Treatment, and Rehabilitation Amendment." There are many people and groups who oppose and support the issue, but what does it aim to do?

One of the main takeaways is if passed, the issue would make the possession, obtainment and use of illegal drugs a misdemeanor. There would also be no jail-time attached to drug sentences for first and second time offenders within a 24-month period. After the third time within that period, the issue states jail time or probation would serve as punishment.

With fewer inmates in jails and prisons, the issue would "require any available funding" to be put towards state-administered rehabilitation programs and crime victim funds.

"Incarceration is supposed to be rehabilitation," said Preston Charles, a fellow organizer with the AMOS Project. "The way that it works right now, the resources are definitely going towards that. People are not going into the prison system and coming out better citizens. They're sometimes coming out as better criminals."

But opponents of Issue 1 say if the amendment passes, it could be dangerous and it wouldnt' do what it wants to do.

"I'm so very concerned because this will do exactly the opposite of what proponents are claiming it will do," Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor said. "It will tie the hands of judges. They will not be able to incentivize addicts to go for treatment and people will die."

You can click here to read the summary of Issue 1.