COLUMBUS — The Ohio Farm Bureau Federation board of trustees has announced the organization’s opposition to State Issue 1, misleadingly called the Neighborhood Safety, Drug Treatment and Rehabilitation Amendment.
Farm Bureau, Ohio’s largest organization for farm, food and rural interests, believes Issue 1 is not a viable approach to the state’s opioid crisis.
“Our state and county Farm Bureaus have been at the forefront of drug abuse prevention in rural Ohio,” said Frank Burkett III, a dairy farmer and president of Ohio Farm Bureau. “We’ve dug deeply into understanding Ohio’s massive drug problems. Issue 1 runs counter to much of what our members believe are effective steps to reducing the impact of drugs on our communities.”
The organization also believes that a constitutional amendment is not the best mechanism for addressing Ohio’s addiction and drug trafficking problems, especially when the initiative is funded by large out-of-state interests.
Farm Bureau trustees also were concerned that Issue 1 would harm the Ohio court system’s ability to effectively deal with illegal drugs. Further, Issue 1 could be a heavy burden on Ohio taxpayers with few assurances of positive results. Other concerns include negative impacts on crime rates and on the availability of a reliable workforce.
“Farm Bureau joins with law enforcement, judges and prosecutors, prevention agencies, business groups, elected officials, leading editorial boards and others to encourage Ohioans to vote no on State Issue 1,” Burkett said. “We need solutions to the drug crisis, but Issue 1 is not the answer.”