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September 3, 2018

Register for upcoming panels on Issue 1 ... and consider authoring an original commentary

I have mentioned briefly in class that the Drug Enforcement and Policy Center (DEPC) here at the College of Law will be sponsoring a series of panels over the next three months to discuss Ohio Issue 1.  The sponsors of Ohio Issue 1 titled their initiative "The Neighborhood Safety, Drug Treatment and Rehabilitation Amendment," but on the ballot it will be officially described as "Issue 1 To Reduce Penalties for Crimes of Obtaining, Possessing, and Using Illegal Drugs."  As this different wording suggests, there is already much debate over just what this ballot initiative seeks to do and what its impact could be.

In short form, Issue 1 proposes to amend the Ohio Constitution to preclude prison terms for drug possession offenses and less serious probation violations, to expand sentence reductions for prisoners participating in rehabilitative programming, and to redirect funds saved from reduced incarceration to drug treatment and victims' services.  DEPC's series of panels on Issue 1, which we are calling Ballot Insights, aims to unpack the complicated issues and provide a venue for informed discussion of the policies and politics surrounding Ohio Issue 1. 

You can see details about each of the planned panels in this Ballot Insights Poster, and you can register for one or more of the panels at this link.  (As I mentioned at the outset of the course, we may have to cancel a few classes through the semester and then figure out how best to schedule make-up classes.  Because the Issue 1 panels will be covering topics directly relevant to our class, I might consider significant attendance at these panels to qualify as one make-up class.  You should register and attend these sessions for lots of reasons, but an extra incentive never hurt.)

In addition to planning to attend the Issue 1 panel discussions, you should consider checking out some of the Issue 1 resources assembled on the bottom of this webpage ranging from official position statements to media coverage.  DEPC is not only assembling these resources, but also is soliciting original commentaries on Issue 1 from a wide array of researchers, policymakers and advocates.  Check back in the next few weeks when some of these commentaries will start to appear on the DEPC website.

As the title of this post indicates, the invitation to submit short commentaries on Issue 1 (around 1000 words) extends to law students.  I sincerely believe that, even for folks just a few weeks into law school, law students might have a distinct and distinctly useful perspective on issues large and small surrounding the substance and style of Issue.  So, with all that extra time you have as a 1L, consider authoring a commentary this fall for publication through DEPC's website.

September 3, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink


Hi Professor! I went to register for some of the OH Issue 1 panels, but all of them are on a Thursday. I have four classes on Thursdays, and unfortunately, none of them are Criminal Law. Do you have any suggestions for how we can work around this? I'm not sure I'm comfortable with missing any of my Thursday classes. - Kristen

Posted by: Kristen Eby | Sep 3, 2018 1:50:08 PM

Most of the panels are at noon (and may include lunch). Do you have a conflict during the lunch hour on Thursday? You should not miss other classes for these panels, but I think most should be at a time you are free. Am I wrong about that?

Posted by: Doug B | Sep 3, 2018 2:12:47 PM

The times were not indicated on the registration link - but if they're at noon, it shouldn't be a problem!

Posted by: Kristen Eby | Sep 3, 2018 3:14:51 PM

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