BOWLING GREEN, OH (WTOL) - Ohio voters will be asked to approve State Issue One on November 6th. If approved, it makes offenses related to drug possession and use no more than misdemeanors.
That's one of the reasons local officials gathered Thursday in Bowling Green urging defeat of the proposal.
"We're not telling people how to vote. We're basically sharing with the people the concerns of judges, prosecutors, law enforcement and drug recovery programs who are concerned this will set Ohio back," according to Ohio State Senator Randy Gardner.
Passage of issue One prohibits courts from ordering persons on probation for felonies from being sent back to prison for non-criminal probation violations. It would require the state to spend savings due to a reduction in inmates on drug treatment and rehabilitation programs.
"We know that there are many people if they were not brought to jail and detox in jail they would die. By having a felony we can encourage them to go into rehab and get the help they need," said Wood County Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn.
Wood County Prosecutor Paul Dobson said Issue One removes the legal consequences of drug use and incentive to get help.
"There's an illegal industry out there that wants heroin, cocaine, fentanyl and methamphetamine in Ohio so that they can make money. That's not going to stop," Dobson added.
WTOL reached out to supporters of Issue One, The Ohio Safe and Healthy Communities Campaign for comment. We have yet to get a response.