Chief Justice O’Connor Cites ‘Catastrophic’ Effects if State Issue 1 Passes this Fall

Supreme Court of Ohio Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor has issued a statement on State Issue 1, a proposed amendment to the Ohio Constitution that would reduce penalties for crimes of obtaining, possessing, and using illegal drugs.

She writes: “Too many people in our criminal justice system are there because of substance abuse disorders. This is undeniable. We know that substance abuse disorders are a major driver in criminal justice spending. We also know that through long-term treatment and therapy, those addicted can lead law-abiding, productive lives.

“Issue 1 on Ohio’s November 6 ballot purports to address this problem by reducing drug possession penalties and directing the savings from reduced incarcerations to expanded drug treatment and resources for crime victims. A superficial reading of Issue 1 could lead voters to see it as a thoughtful, compassionate, and reasonable response to a difficult and intractable problem. It seems so, until you peel back its layers and see that it will have catastrophic consequences for our state. If Issue 1 passes, Ohio may have some of the most lenient drug crime laws in the nation. We could easily become a magnet for substance abuse activity because there will be, in effect, very little consequence to engaging in such behavior.”

Read Justice O’Connor’s entire statement.

Visit the Secretary of State website for more information about the issue. 9/6/2018