Issue 1 is not

safe for our

community

Dear Editor,

Citizens in the state of Ohio are being presented with a life-changing constitutional amendment during this general election. What is being touted as a solution to people’s drug addiction, State Issue 1, is actually an invitation for users to possess a substantial amount of illegal substances with ultimately no consequences.

Did you know that if this amendment passes, a person could possess enough lethal substance, such as heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine or fentanyl, that could literally kill thousands of folks?

It would become a misdemeanor offense to possess up to 19 grams! That is a similar sanction to punching someone, harassing someone over the telephone or driving without a valid license. Under this proposal, my staff could not even incarcerate a person in possession of 19 grams of crack cocaine! That’s right! There would be three convictions before doing any jail time under this proposal that, by the way, is funded by billionaires from California! What interest could they possibly have in Ohio?

If Issue 1 becomes part of the Ohio Constitution it will be devastating. Thousands of convicted felons will be released from prison. Judges will lose their ability to put/keep those in jail who need to be. Drug induced crime such as burglary, robbery, theft, assault and murder will continue – if not increase.

If you are still undecided on who to support in this year’s race for Governor, let me inform you of what I found online. I listened to a debate between the two major party candidates. The Republican candidate opposes Issue 1, and the Democratic candidate supports Issue 1. The thought of having a governor of this great state who supports minimizing sanctions for people who possess hard drugs makes my stomach turn. I know who gets my vote after listening to that debate.

Please consider what I am telling you. Unfortunately drug addicted people commit serious crimes. The criminal activity in our rural conservative county is living proof. We have been tasked with investigating incidents from murder to scrap metal theft and everything in between by drug addicted people who are committing these crimes to feed their addiction. Or they have committed the acts due to being under the influence of controlled substances that are altering their thought process.

I have focused more manpower and financial resources over the past few years than ever before trying to get ahead of the drug issues we face. The anonymous tip link on my website is blowing up with information nearly every day. Many tips I have received we cannot bring a resolution to and I know that is frustrating to the tipsters.

Trust me when I tell you, we look into every tip. Some we have immediate success investigating; others we simply need some luck with your tip to wrap it up.

Based on my experience, specifically since reopening the county jail, I can assure you this – people challenged with drug addiction will not magically appear in rehabilitation. You and I cannot force anyone to be rehabilitated.

If Issue 1 passes, our drug court will be no more. Almost every inmate I talk with who has an addiction becomes thankful for being arrested and incarcerated, as it has most likely saved their life. Once they have detoxed the poisons out of their body and they are thinking with a clear mind, they have an honest chance at recovery which is already being offered to them by the court. Lack of incarceration, this will not happen at the rate it is today.

Please join me in voting NO for State Issue 1.

Jason K. Landers

Paulding County Sheriff