To the Editor:

Voters need to do their homework when it comes to State Issue 1, the proposed constitutional amendment that would reduce penalties for the crimes of obtaining, possessing and using illegal drugs.

As community leaders, we have many concerns about this issue being pushed by powerful special interest groups spending over $5 million into this ill-advised ballot initiative. Issue 1 is yet another unfunded mandate that will hurt local law enforcement as they work to keep drugs and crime off the streets of the neighborhoods of all our communities.

It will make things worse for Ohio’s municipalities like North Royalton fighting the opioid crisis under repeated funding cuts by the state. On top of all that it mandates the release of violent criminals back on to our city’s streets, which will only further jeopardize public safety.

Any kind of sentencing reform should be done by the Ohio General Assembly through the regular legislative process. Issue 1 is a very misguided attempt at sentencing reform and would cause havoc for decades and harm to the public safety of our communities. Please join us, Ohio Municipal League, other elected officials, and people throughout Ohio to oppose State Issue 1. Vote no and send a strong message that special interest groups from California do not dictate public policy here in the buckeye state!

Dan Langshaw, Ward 3 councilman

Dan Kasaris, Ward 6 councilman

Gary Petrusky, Ward 2 councilman

North Royalton