CIRCLEVILLE – The Pickaway Bar Association has voted to make a public statement that they are “Against Issue 1 in Ohio.” The Pickaway Bar Association consists of attorneys that are leaders in the Pickaway County community including Circleville Attorney Gary Kenworth, Pickaway County Commissioner Brian Stewart and Municipal Judge Gary Dunn.
Gary Dunn said in a press release in October, “Issue 1, if passed, will make Ohio the best place to live if you are a drug addict or dealer and do not want to change your lifestyle. Under the amendment, possession of deadly drugs like cocaine, heroin, and fentanyl would become a misdemeanor, with virtually no penalty. Possession of these drugs at the current felony level gives us the tools to work with offenders by using probation officers, drug courts, parole officers, and judges to monitor offender behaviors. This allows us to force users and dealers into alternative lifestyles through counseling and incarceration. Without the threat of incarceration, there is little to no incentive for a user or dealer to change, leaving neighborhoods, businesses, parks, and families vulnerable to the crimes that are committed to sustaining drug use.
The thought behind the amendment, that treatment should be the main objective in the criminal justice system, is admirable and we are all aware that we cannot arrest our way out of the drug crisis; however, the amendment, in reality, makes drug use easier and drugs more available, since every user and dealer will understand quickly that there is no real punishment for their continuing conduct.”
Pickaway County Commissioner Brian Stewart also went on record, “Today I voted with a substantial majority of the County Commissioners Association of Ohio Board of Directors to OPPOSE #Issue1, which would lock into the Ohio Constitution a poorly-drafted, out-of-state driven scheme to weaken Ohio’s efforts to resolve the drug problem in our state. It’s wrong for Ohio. Vote NO on Issue 1.”