Responding to critics: Issue 1

There are many people speaking publicly against issue 1. They are saying things that cause fear and doubt over issue 1. The reality is that changing our system is hard for a lot of people and institutions who have been involved with it for so long. But the status quo doesn’t make our communities safe or healthy. Issue 1 seeks to fix that.

See below for some helpful ways to respond to the common arguments against issue 1.

They say - Ohio will be a haven for drug dealers

Issue 1 addresses low-level, non-violent drug possession charges. Those who are exploiting our communities for profit will still be charged to the fullest extent of the law. We need to save the beds in our prisons for those who seek harm, not those who have been harmed. Issue 1 will allow us to provide the treatment we need.

They say - You can kill thousands of people and not go to jail with fentanyl.

Drug dealers seek to exploit those who are most vulnerable in our communities. Even small amounts of fentanyl will still be classified as felonies and result in those who do harm going to prison.

They say - This doesn’t belong in the Constitution

The Legislature, the Governor, the Attorney General, and many others have failed to act to address our criminal justice system inadequacies and shortcomings. In their failure to act, Ohio citizens designed an Ohio solution. Even the outgoing Director of Ohio’s prisons recently said that he regrets the explosion in prison population.

They say - What about another idea?

The Legislature and political leaders have had years to fix the problem of an unjust justice system and they have ignored it. All of a sudden, they have new ideas. People need treatment today.