Republican Ohio Attorney General and gubernatorial nominee Mike DeWine is opposing a November ballot issue aimed at reducing sentences for non-violent drug crimes, saying it would worsen the the state's opioid epidemic.
Democratic opponent Rich Cordray backs Issue One. Cordray says Ohio should do more to get low-level drug offenders treatment. Meanwhile, a recovering addict is also opposing Issue One, saying had the measure passed years ago, she would've faced a fate worse than jail. Ohio Public Radio's Andy Chow explains.
Shea Fraser of Marysville says she spent years struggling with addiction, starting with prescription pills and evolving to heroin.
She says Issue 1 would take incentive away from addicts who are given the choice between prison or drug court, which diverts them to treatment.
Fraser: “I can tell you right now that without drug court I would not be standing here today, at all, I would not have gone to treatment on my own.”
Some criminal justice reform groups and former addicts support Issue 1, saying prison becomes a barrier between addicts and treatment under Ohio’s current laws.