Herald Editor,

I urge all Pickaway County citizens to vote NO on Issue 1. Here’s why:

1. Drug abuse is the #1 driving factor behind all criminal conduct today. Despite that reality, Issue 1 will PROMOTE not reduce drug abuse. It will PROMOTE, not reduce Drug Trafficking.

2. Judges need flexibility to tailor the sanctions to make the punishment fit the crime. Despite that reality, Issue 1 will remove the ability of judges to impose a jail/prison sentence where it is appropriate. And Issue 1 will permanently reduce the penalties for almost all crimes, including Drug Trafficking and Home Invasions.

3. Mandatory treatment is an appropriate solution in many cases, yet, Issue 1 does not provide for or require treatment.

If all this wasn’t enough, Issue 1 will cement all its problems within the Ohio Constitution, where it will be almost impossible to change. Changes to Ohio’s drug laws belong in legislation, not the Constitution where they are extremely difficult to remove to meet the changing circumstances.

I have almost 40 years experience as a lawyer, prosecuting attorney, and Court of Appeals judge. But you don’t have to take just my word for it. Virtually every state judicial association opposes Issue 1. so does the Ohio Farm Bureau, Ohio Chamber of Commerce, Ohio Council of County Officials, Ohio Manufacturers’ Association, Buckeye State Sheriffs Association, Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association, Fraternal Order of Police, Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police, and the individual associations of county commissioners, treasurers, auditors, clerks of courts, and recorders, and too many others to list.

So, on Nov. 6, please vote NO on Issue 1. The best interest of you, your loved ones, friends, and neighbors requires it. Thank you.

Judge William H. Harsha


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