Issue 1 was a piece of legislation that went up to vote this past November 6th. If it became a law, it would’ve modified the punishment for non-violent drug charges from felony to a misdemeanor. It would get rid of technical probation violations getting one added jail time and being placed as a criminal act on record.
It would funnel money in recovery and rehabilitation care rather into that of the budget for prisons. It would reduce the jail population that has tripled since the 1980’s.
Issue 1 failed with a 63% opposed. And one really has to wonder, “why?”
The Ohio Department of Health has reported Ohio to have 4,050 drug overdose deaths in Ohio in 2016. The main culprits of abuse being fentanyl and cocaine.
Policy Matters Ohio released research that showed that the citizen-initiated would save up to 136 million dollars a year, money that would be pumped backed into the community for drug rehabilitation and reintroduction into society. There exists the added bonus that it would not disenfranchise non-violent offenders, as they had now committed a misdemeanor and not a felony.
So, why? Why did it fail?
One looks right. Conservatives, one being the noted Ohio Supreme Court Justice Maureen O’Connor, who said on the Issue that it would, “gravely endanger Ohioans.” There exists as well plenty of alarmists who say that the issue’s passage would release murderers and rapists from jail. Which is false, as Issue 1 has a stress on “non-violent” crimes, when murder and rape are, of course, violent crimes.
One recognizes the rhetoric of violence to be a pattern over the past 50 years of the “Drug War” that the country has undergone. The main issue of the incarceration increase so drastic that, according to Policy Matters, Ohio is currently at 132% capacity in our prisons. Overcrowding is rampant and there must be a recognition of racial profiling within persecution for drug charges.