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2018 was a big election year in Ohio. Republicans held onto all five statewide executive offices including governor and super majorities in both the Ohio House and Senate. But there were a few bright spots for Democrats, among them the reelection of U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown and the election of two Democrats to the Ohio Supreme Court.With election 2018 over, the focus now shifts to governing. Stay connected with the latest on politics, policies and people making the decisions at all levels affecting your lives.

Former Ohio Supreme Court Justice: Issue 1 is a "Horrible Idea"

photo of Paul Pfeifer
Former Ohio Supreme Court Justice Paul Pfeifer says Issue 1 will take away a bargaining chip for judges and prosecutors.

Opponents are fighting back against a statewide ballot measure that would reduce the penalties for drug offenders. Under Issue 1, minor drug-related offenses would not require prison time and would prioritize  treatment instead.

Paul Pfeifer, a former Ohio Supreme Court justice, is calling Issue 1 a “horrible idea.” He claims it will weaken law enforcement and takes a bargaining chip away from judges and prosecutors.

“If you take away the threat that an addict may have to face some jail or prison time, you just can’t get them to go to treatment. They just will not do it,” he said.

Pfeifer goes on to say most Ohio judges prefer treatment over prison time, but it’s not something that can be forced on people with a substance abuse disorder.

Supporters of Issue 1 say passage will allow the state to take money it is now spending for incarceration to fund drug treatment and crime victim programs.

Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.