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Van Wert leaders urge "no" vote on Issue 1

If Issue 1 is passed by voters, drug offenses in Ohio will be reduced across the board.

Posted: Oct. 1, 2018 9:11 PM
Updated: Oct. 1, 2018 11:15 PM

VAN WERT, Ohio (WFFT) - Ohio voters will decide a major change to the state's constitution when they head to the polls November 6.

If Issue 1 is passed by voters, drug offenses in Ohio will be reduced across the board.

Law enforcement, judicial, and healthcare providers in Van Wert came together to express their opposition to Issue 1 because how it could potentially fuel the drug epidemic.

Issue 1 makes possession of any amount of deadly drugs nothing more than a misdemeanor and reduces sentences, including those already convicted and sentenced to prison.

Someone would need to be arrested three times before it would become a felony, where a judge can order someone to drug treatment.

"We need the ability of the courts to go in and say this is the treatment, this is the course. If you don't, these are the repercussions if you don't comply," said Van Wert police chief Joel Hammond.

"They are elected judges. We put them there because we trust their judgement and we expect them to use their discretion to their very best ability when they are imposing sentences on people that are convicted of drug possession," said Ohio State Representative Craig Riedel, who represents Defiance, Paulding and Van Wert Counties.

People from outside Ohio are funding the passage of Issue 1, including Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

If this passes, it will be permanent and can’t get fixed because it would be in the constitution instead of a regular state law.

Again issue one is in the November 6 ballot for everyone in Ohio.

You can read the whole ballot question here.

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