Voters reject Ohio ballot issue on drug crimes

File photo - Prison cell (AP Images)
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Voters have rejected an Ohio constitutional amendment to make possession of all types of drugs misdemeanors in an effort to reduce the state prison population and divert savings to drug treatment.

Most judicial and law enforcement groups opposed the measure known as Issue 1. And it became a point of debate in the Ohio governor's race, with Republican Attorney General Mike DeWine opposed and Democratic candidate Richard Cordray supporting it.

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Supporters argued Issue 1 would have saved tens of millions of dollars in prison costs, money that would be dedicated not only to drug treatment but to crime victim programs, as well.

Opponents balked at the prospect of basically decriminalizing possession of fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid blamed for thousands of overdose deaths in Ohio.

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