In July, supporters of proposed legislation to reduce criminal penalties for non-violent drug offenders succeeded in submitting hundreds of thousands of signatures to put a new measure on the November ballot. The proposition, known as the “Neighborhood Safety, Drug Treatment & Rehabilitation” amendment has gained the bipartisan support of local communities, law enforcement, and prominent business and faith-based organizations throughout the state. That support showed in the 730,000+ signatures submitted by the Ohio Safe and Healthy Communities Campaign, nearly 425,000 more than required to qualify for the ballot.
The widespread support for the new proposed legislation mirrors the changing shift of states across the nation in terms of taking a new approach toward dealing with individuals convicted of non-violent drug crimes. In light of the growing opioid epidemic, which has hit Ohio communities hard, and a growing understanding of the failures associated with America’s long-standing War on Drugs, Ohio residents are now voicing their support for lawmakers to invest in proven forms of treatment and rehabilitation in lieu of severe penalties that have caused prison populations to soar and the costs of supporting those prisons to skyrocket.
Those approaches, which have been adopted in many states, focus on providing criminal defendants accused of non-violent drug crimes with opportunities for obtaining treatment, counseling, and support services. Rather than harshly penalizing such offenders, the measure looks to change how our criminal justice system handles non-violent drug cases, and put an end to the “revolving door” affect criminal charges and convictions can have on individuals.
Drug Crimes & Criminal Defense in Ohio
While Ohio voters will determine the fate of the proposition come November, the fact remains that individuals accused of drug crimes now and in the future can still face serious penalties. This is especially true in cases involving more serious drug crimes, and when defendants have prior criminal convictions on their record. However, growing support for rehabilitation can provide many defendants facing non-violent drug crime charges with more opportunities in seeking alternative sentencing options and positive resolutions.
At Friedman & Nemececk, L.L.C., Attorney Ian N. Friedman and our award-winning Cleveland criminal defense team have established a reputation for protecting the rights of clients facing all types of drug crime allegations, including those involving:
- State and federal drug crimes
- Possession of controlled substances, and possession with intent to sell
- Marijuana drug offenses
- Trafficking, distribution, cultivation, and manufacturing
- Cyber litigation and federal drug offenses, including “dark web” marketplaces
When representing clients charged with drug crimes, we are committed to protecting their rights at every stage of the process. This includes working to ensure proper law enforcement conduct and that the government meets its burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. It also includes providing the representation, insight, and information clients need to make informed decisions about potential resolutions, alternative sentencing options, and the most positive outcome possible.
If you have questions about a state or federal drug crime case anywhere in Cleveland or the state of Ohio, contact our firm for a toll-free, confidential consultation. Place your trust in proven lawyers