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"Wake Up America" Vote NO on Ohio Issue 1
October 12, 2018

“Wake up America” was the humorous tag line of WLW Gary Burbank for all manner of social and political issues, but it rings true more than ever with Issue One that will be presented for a vote this November. It is a proposed Ohio Constitutional Amendment that should be named the Drug Dealer Relief Act. Please note and consider that this amendment is not presented or created by our Governor, the Ohio House of Representatives, the Ohio Senate, the Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice, the Ohio Court of Appeals, the Ohio Common Pleas Court Judges, the Ohio Attorney General, Ohio Coroners, Ohio Sheriffs or the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association which vigorously oppose Issue One. Like all Ohio Constitutional Amendments, it is the brain child of a few presumably well intended individuals who consider that jail time for drug dealers is a bad option and seek to permanently eliminate that without review by your elected legislators who also make laws. It is easy to see that anyone proposing jail time reduction has played on an uninformed public to secure the needed signatures to get Issue One on the ballot. The devil, however, is in the details. Issue One will all but decriminalize possession of the most deadly drugs in our history and make prosecution of those that deal in these deadly drugs nearly impossible. As an example, possession of 19 grams of fentanyl, enough to kill 10,000 people, will become a non-jailable misdemeanor with no threat of jail for first and second offenses in a two year period. This is the most obvious failure of Issue One and there are many more tucked away in the proposed Amendment. No adjoining state to Ohio has such an Amendment and will make Ohio a sanctuary state for criminals who would face stiff penalties in Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Kentucky who have the good sense to prosecute drug dealers with felony prosecutions. The message to youth will be “try it, you may like it” without criminal consequences, except of course death as every coroner in Ohio has seen like never before in our history. The war on drugs has been tough, but not lost. We cannot succumb to a mentality that says “if you can’t beat them, join them”, and we as a people cannot support drug dealers of misery and death who profit on the lives of our youth. The Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court has essentially said that Issue One is nuts along with virtually every Ohio organization that deals with criminal justice and I agree. It will forever be a mystery to me why a candidate for Governor, Richard Cordray, supports Issue One and I openly challenge him to a debate on this issue. Wake up Ohio - vote NO on Issue One.

Michael T. Gmoser, Butler County Prosecutor

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