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THE 411 ON ISSUE 1

With a new ballot right around the corner and and the opioid epidemic still at an all time high, new issues and possible solutions are being brought to the table for discussion.  On November 6, 2018, the Drug and Criminal Justice Policies Initiative, known as Issue 1, will be on this year’s ballot.  Issue 1 has created serious debate amongst the candidates and parties running in November.  It seems a line has been drawn in the sand, as to whether people support the initiative or completely oppose it.

The initiative petition would add a new section 12 to Article XV of the Ohio Constitution to reduce the number of people in state prison for low-level, non-violent drug possession or drug use offenses or for non-criminal probation violations.  The initiative intends to give sentence credits for participation in rehabilitative programs and to direct the savings achieved by such reductions in incarceration to drug treatment programs and other purposes.[1]

The initiative would make the possession, obtainment and the use of drugs no more than a misdemeanor, with sentences not to exceed probation for a first or second offense.  Only after a third offense would jail time be an option.   Proponents of the bill argue the initiative was designed to reduce the number of people incarcerated for low-level, non-violent crimes and promote participation in rehabilitation and work and educational programs.  However, Issue 1 would not change the classification of drug related felonies, such as sale, distribution, or trafficking.  In fact, trafficking crimes would remain felonies.[2]

Proponents of the bill argue the intent behind the initiative is to reduce recidivism by encouraging people to rehabilitate and rejoin the community with their families.  At Lardiere McNair, our goal is to help our clients and their families.  With the opioid epidemic continuing and unfortunate overdoes occurring, we see many clients struggling to find the answers on how to keep their families together.   LM has experience in these tough situations and will help our clients take the difficult steps toward a better future with their family.

Our domestic team has advised many families through challenging custody matters. For instance, in an effort to keep our client’s families together, we have obtained grandparents’ rights for the minor children while parents go through treatment.  Lardiere McNair has worked on many cases putting our client’s best interest first.  Estate Planning is another large practice area at LM. In the unfortunate event a family member is lost, Lardiere McNair has experience in guiding our clients’ family to make the difficult transition in the most hopeful manner.  Lardiere McNair continues to strive for the rights of our clients and the best outcome for their families.

[1] https://www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov/getattachment/f03dd0d1-6498-4e96-a80c-8908a899989b/The-Neighborhood-Safety-Drug-Treatment-and-Rehab.aspx

[2]https://ballotpedia.org/Ohio_Issue_1,_Congressional_Redistricting_Procedures_Amendment_(May_2018)

Annemarie Gill is a Law Clerk at Lardiere McNair, LLC.  To read more about our firm, please visit www.lmcounsel.com.

The information presented here has been prepared by Lardiere McNair for promotional and informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice.  This information is not intended to provide, and receipt of it does not constitute, legal advice.  Nor does the receipt of this material create an attorney/client relationship.  An attorney client relationship is not established until such time as Lardiere McNair enters in to a written engagement agreement with a specific client for a specific legal matter.

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