A substance abuse survivor is fighting against the statewide ballot issue this fall that would reduce prison time for non-violent drug offenders. The former addict says, had this measure passed years ago, she would’ve faced a fate worse than jail time.
Shea Fraser of Marysville says she spent years struggling with addiction, starting with prescription pills and evolving to heroin.
She says Issue 1 would take incentive away from addicts who are given the choice between prison or drug court, which diverts them to treatment.
“I can tell you right now that without drug court I would not be standing here today, at all, I would not have gone to treatment on my own,” says Fraser.
Some criminal justice reform groups and former addicts support Issue 1, saying prison becomes a barrier between addicts and treatment under Ohio’s current laws.
Fraser spoke at an event hosted by Republican Gubernatorial Nominee Mike DeWine who opposes Issue 1. DeWine, Ohio's attorney general, says the measure would make the current drug epidemic in the state worse. He added that the ballot issue would "gut the progress we've made."
Democratic Gubernatorial Nominee Richard Cordray is a supporter of Issue 1. He says as governor, "I will work with law enforcement to make sure drug dealers are convicted and serve long prison sentences while people who need substance abuse treatment can get it in our communities."