drug penalties

Hargreaves Associates

Here are your morning headlines for Tuesday, Nov. 12:

Photo of Ed McCants gathering signatures for Marion's "Sensible Marijuana Ordinance."
NICK EVANS / WOSU

In cities across Ohio, organizers are going to the ballot box to push local governments away from low-level marijuana enforcement. The state’s penalties for possession are already relatively loose. But initiative backers say the drug convictions aren’t making communities safer, and they’re unnecessarily harmful to those who get caught. If passed, the proposals will likely prompt a court fight where similar measures have recently been struck down.

photo of Paul Pfeifer
DAN KONIK / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

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.

photo of Brenda Ryan
JO INGLES / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Gov. John Kasich has signed a bill into law that increases penalties for drug trafficking.

Cuyahoga Falls resident Brenda Ryan is raising her 7-year-old grandson after his mother, Sheena Moore, died from a drug overdose in 2016. She was only 31 years old. 

Ryan says the man who provided the deadly drugs to her daughter spent only eight years in prison because the penalties were reduced once it was determined the drug wasn’t heroin.

SCOTT WIGGAM
STATE OF OHIO

Ohio lawmakers have increased spending to fight the opioid crisis, but one state legislator thinks more needs to be done. 

Republican Rep. Scott Wiggam is pushing a bill that he says will accomplish two things in the fight against opioids.

“Ohio’s strategy is missing two key ingredients, deterrents and accountabilities for those who traffic these illegal substances in our communities.”