Amendment would hinder fight to curb drug epidemic

Published 7:32 am Wednesday, September 12, 2018

On Nov. 6, 2018, Ohio voters will be faced with a constitutional amendment otherwise known as Issue 1, entitled “The Neighborhood Safety, Drug Treatment and Rehabilitation Amendment.” Lawrence County voters should not be fooled that this will aid in community safety, drug or rehabilitation efforts.

The Lawrence County Prosecutor’s Office is engaged in a multifaceted approach to dealing with the increasing drug epidemic that faces our community. This approach includes strict enforcement of drug trafficking laws, treatment of low level non-violent offenders; as well as community outreach, youth education and prevention. This approach at the Lawrence County Prosecutor’s Office is reducing the amount of drug offenders and, at the same time, protecting our community.

Issue 1 actually reclassifies almost all drug possession offenses from felonies to misdemeanors. If this amendment were to pass and become a constitutional amendment in Ohio, possession of fentanyl, cocaine, meth and heroin would become misdemeanors.

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In fact, possession of fentanyl would result in a misdemeanor of the first degree, which carries a maximum penalty of a $1,000 fine and up to six months in the county jail 20 grams of fentanyl is enough to kill approximately 10,000 people or the entire population of the city of Ironton.

Decriminalizing serious drugs, such as fentanyl, cocaine, meth and heroin does not protect our community and will only put our community at a much greater risk of serious crime.

If Issue 1 was to pass, it is my opinion that it would completely undermine the efforts being made by the Lawrence County Criminal Justice System to deal with the drug problem. It is vital that we all stand together and vote NO on Issue 1.

As Lawrence County prosecutor, I will continue to work diligently every day to assure that Lawrence County continues to be a safe place to live in work.


Brigham Anderson is the prosecuting attorney for Lawrence County.