Ohio voters will have the opportunity to amend the state's constitution to change the way certain drug offenses are classified. If voters approve of the state's only ballet issue, low-level, non-violent possession charges would be considered a misdemeanor offense instead of a felony. The adjustment would mean individuals charged with crimes of this nature could no longer be sentenced to serve jail time in a state prison. Supporters and opponents have weighed in on the issue.
Those who support the change in how minor drug charges are classified say it would allow funds to be redirected from what's needed to cover incarceration costs to money that could be used for treatment options for offenders. Opponents argue that taking discretion with potential penalties away from judges may undermine the ability to keep offenders in treatment programs. Existing Ohio law makes drug-related offenses a fourth or fifth-degree felony. Judges currently have the option to sentence individuals up to 18-months in state prison.