Sentencing First-Time Drug Offenders in Ohio

Illegal Drugs
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Should Ohio judges have the ability to choose the correct punishment for first-time drug offenders?

Gov. Bob Taft says yes, and that is why he is against a proposed November ballot initiative to change the way the state handles those non-violent first-time offenders.

Currently, judges can either sentence the offenders to jail, or send them to drug treatment centers.

The ballot initiative would require judges to sentence non-violent first-timers to treatment centers. Taft says the amendment would undermine current drug treatment efforts.

Supporters of the drug initiative say it would save the taxpayers the cost of housing offenders in prison.