Issue 1, a "treatment not
jail" initiative sponsored by the Campaign for New Drug Policies (http://www.cndp.org),
has become a largely partisan campaign issue, with the state's Republican
political establishment, headed by Gov. Robert Taft and his drug warrior
wife, Hope, working with drug war bureaucrats from the Bush administration
to defeat the measure. Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tim Hagan
has endorsed the initiative, and press reports this week indicated that
the high rollers behind the effort may be shifting their last minute advertising
buys from supporting the initiative to supporting Hagan.
That is a clear sign that
the initiative is in serious trouble. Reform backers are reading
the same polls as everyone else, and the news isn't good. A mid-September
poll for the Cleveland Plain Dealer found the measure losing, 55% to 30%,
while an October 6 poll for the Columbus Dispatch had similar results,
with the measure failing by 51% to 31%.
Supporters of Issue 1 have
accused Gov. Taft and other state officials of illegally interfering with
the initiative (visit http://www.ips-dc.org/projects/drugpolicy/ohio.htm
for an investigative report by Dan Forbes) and also cried foul over the
language that will appear on the ballot. The ballot language says
the measure will cost $247 million for drug treatment over seven years,
but doesn't explain that the measure would generate huge savings in corrections
"If we can't pass drug reform
in Ohio through the initiative process because the governor's stacked the
deck against us, it makes more sense for us to try to change who the governor
is," CNDP strategist Bill Zimmerman told the Associated Press on Tuesday.
"It would be to shift resources to an independent expenditure committee
that supports Hagan and opposes Taft."
DRCNet did not know as of
press time whether a final decision had been made.
Issue 1 on the ballot:
To adopt Section
24 of Article IV of the Constitution of the State of Ohio. In order
to provide for persons charged with or convicted of illegal possession
or use of a drug, in certain circumstances, to choose treatment instead
of incarceration, to require the state to spend two hundred forty-seven
million dollars ($247,000,000) over seven (7) fiscal years to pay for the
drug treatment programs, to allow the applicable records of offenders who
complete treatment instead of incarceration for illegal drug use and possession
to be sealed and kept confidential for most purposes, and to limit the
maximum sentence to ninety (90) days incarceration that eligible first-time,
second-time, and certain repeat illegal drug possession or use offenders
could serve, this amendment would:
for further information on the Question.
-- END --
Require a court to order treatment
instead of incarceration for first-time or second-time offenders charged
with or convicted of illegal possession or use of a drug who request treatment,
have not been convicted of or imprisoned for a violent felony within five
years of committing the current offense, have not been sentenced to a term
of incarceration that would interfere with participation in treatment,
and in the same proceeding have not been convicted of or charged with other
drug-related offenses or misdemeanors involving theft, violence or the
threat of violence.
Allow a court to order treatment
instead of incarceration for eligible repeat offenders charged with or
convicted of illegal possession or use of a drug who request treatment,
and for offenders charged with or convicted of illegal possession or use
of a drug who are also charged with or convicted of other nonviolent offenses
resulting from drug abuse or addiction and who request treatment.
Create a Substance Abuse Treatment
Fund and require the state to spend a total of two hundred and forty-seven
million dollars ($247,000,000) to pay for the treatment, breaking down
to nineteen million dollars ($19,000,000) for the remainder of the 2003
fiscal year and thirty-eight million dollars ($38,000,000) annually through
fiscal year 2009, in addition to requiring the state to maintain its current
spending to fund existing substance abuse treatment programs through fiscal
year 2009, and to require the state to continue to provide adequate resources
for these purposes after fiscal year 2009.
Limit the period of treatment
a court may impose to not more than twelve (12) months, allow an extension
of the treatment period for not more than six (6) more months, and allow
court supervision of an offender for up to ninety (90) days after treatment.
Limit the sentencing of first-time,
second-time, and certain repeat offenders who are eligible for treatment
but who either do not request treatment or do not meet the terms of the
treatment to a maximum of ninety (90) days incarceration for illegal possession
or use of a drug.
Limit the authority of judges
who place eligible offenders into treatment to remove those offenders from
Require a court to dismiss legal
proceedings against an offender without a finding of guilt if the offender
completes the treatment.
Allow an offender who successfully
completes the treatment to have applicable records sealed and to have the
conviction that prompted the request for treatment expunged, and require
that the sealed or expunged records be kept confidential except for specified
law enforcement and court related purposes.
Issue #259, 10/18/02
Election 2002:00:00 The Initiatives | Election 2002:00:00 Arizona | Election 2002:00:00 District of Columbia | Election 2002:00:00 Nevada | Election 2002:00:00 Ohio | Election 2002:00:00 South Dakota | Election 2002:00:00 Local Ballot Issues in San Francisco and Massachusetts | November Coalition Journey for Justice Roars through Michigan | Drug War Corruption in Colombia and Mexico | Newsbrief: New Compilation of California Medical Marijuana Guideline Info on MarijuanaInfo.org | Newsbrief: San Diego Medical Marijuana Activist Arrested on Federal Charges | Newsbrief: Damned Sad -- MADD Sues DAMMADD | Newsbrief: This Week's Cop Corruption Story | Newsbrief: DARE Attrition Continues in Kansas City, Kansas | Newsbrief: Canada Study Looks at Marijuana for HIV/AIDS Woes | Newsbrief: In First, British Marijuana User Wins with Medical Necessity Defense | Newsbrief: Virginia Man Lucks Out with Only Two Years in Prison for Sharing Joint with Teenager | Newsbrief: BC City Governments Ask for Tougher Grow Penalties | Newsbrief: Florida School District Wants Positive Drug Test Kids to Pay for Own Counseling | Calling on Students to Raise Your Voices for Repeal of the HEA Drug Provision | Action Alerts: Rave Bill, Medical Marijuana, Higher Education Act Drug Provision | The Reformer's Calendar
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