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Anjelah Johnson and the Ohio Ballot Initiative on the Drug War

Published by Daniel Brooks Moore on

Someone dies of opioid or heroin addiction every 19 minutes in this country and the so-called war on drugs isn’t helping.

“We need to be treating addiction as a public health crisis, not a criminal justice issue,” explained actor and activist Anjelah Johnson. “Luckily, voters in Ohio have a chance to do that with Issue 1 on the midterm ballot.”

If passed, Issue 1 would change the state’s drug possession charges from felonies to misdemeanors and finally reform sentencing guidelines for drug offenders. Changing these policies could save Ohio taxpayers millions in criminal justice posts.

“Right now, the state is spending $1.8 billion on prisons every year,” Johnson explained. “Issue 1 also requires that the money saved by these policies gets invested in mental health and rehabilitation services statewide.”

According to the Surgeon General’s office, one in seven Americans will deal with substance abuse at some point in their lifetime. And Issue 1 won’t just save a lot of money — it will save lives. But Johnson says it’s not a sure thing to pass.

“Polls show that Issue 1 is going to be a close vote where every single vote matters,” she explained. “Get to the polls on November 6th and make your voice heard.”



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