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Government & Politics

Petitions Certified for Drug Treatment and Rehabilitation Issue

photo of Ohio Ballot Board
JO INGLES
/
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Backers of a proposed Ohio constitutional amendment that would release low-level drug offenders from jail and direct money to treatment instead has cleared one hurdle. 

The amendment is meant to reduce the number of people locked up in state prisons by reducing nonviolent drug crimes to misdemeanors. It would also allow offenders to get credit for time served in treatment instead. And it would also direct state money saved from a smaller prison population into drug-treatment programs.

The Ohio Ballot Board panel now says supporters can now circulate petitions to put it on the ballot. Those Ohio-based community activists will need to collect more than 300,000 valid petition signatures by July to put the issue on the 2018 statewide fall ballot.