Ohio voters to decide on drug punishment, treatment reform amendment in Nov.
Source: Health Policy Institute of Ohio
Ohioans will vote on whether to change the state Constitution in November to reduce penalties for nonviolent drug offenders, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted's office announced Monday afternoon (Source: “Ohio voters will decide a drug treatment and rehab ballot measure in November,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 23, 2018).
The drug treatment and rehabilitation amendment will be known as Issue 1, Husted's office said.
The proposal -- backed by a bipartisan coalition of civic, law enforcement, faith and business leaders -- would do the following:
- Make possessing, obtaining or using a drug or drug paraphernalia a misdemeanor offense, with a maximum punishment of 180 days in jail and $1,000 fine. First and second offenses within a two-year period could only be punished with probation.
- Give convicted people a half day credit against their sentence for each day of rehabilitative work or programming, up to 25 percent of the total sentence.
- Spare individuals on probation from a felony offense for non-violent violations of that probation.
Allow people convicted of such crimes to petition a court to reclassify the offense as a misdemeanor, which could result in their release from prison.