State of Ohio Archives: on Drugs

Mike Gibbons: Solutions are more medical than criminal

We need to understand that the law-and-order approach to the drug crisis has failed. We need to continue to prosecute hardcore dealers, but we need to focus on education, treatment, and support. I have personally put my money into a startup company that provides a way for addicts to break the cycle of addition. But this isn't about my company. It's about competition and innovation. I want to see more health care providers join me in this fight.
Source: 2018 Ohio Senatorial website Oct 15, 2017

Joe Schiavoni: Can't arrest our way out of opioid crisis

Must dramatically increase funding for treatment options and law enforcement to fight the opioid epidemic that is devastating our communities. This is a health crisis. And it must be treated like one. We can't arrest our way out of this problem. We need a comprehensive plan to attack the issue from every angle. This means prevention, education, emergency response, law enforcement, and treatment and recovery services.
Source: 2018 Ohio Governor website Aug 17, 2017

Nan Whaley: Ohio's heroin epidemic caused by drug companies

The heroin epidemic is no accident. It didn't just happen. It started with the drug companies. The drug companies made this mess, and it's time they stopped passing the buck to Ohio's taxpayers and started paying to clean it up.
Source: 2018 Ohio Gubernatorial website Aug 8, 2017

Jon Husted: If #1 in jobs & education, Ohio wouldn't be #1 in opioids

On the opioid epidemic: "Right now, Ohio is number one in opioid deaths, and that is unacceptable," he said. "If we were number one in job training and education, I promise you we would not be number one in opioid deaths. So it's also about giving people hope and purpose in their lives so they don't turn to drugs and alcohol as a way of coping with the pain in their lives."
Source: Chillicothe Gazette on 2018 Ohio gubernatorial race May 11, 2017

John Kasich: Shut down the pill mills; put crooked doctors in jail

On drug addiction. Seven years ago, I went down to southern Ohio. And I met these ladies, and they walked in with these pictures. Well, who's on the picture? Beautiful young people--sons, daughters, football captain, cheerleader, whatever. I said, "what's up, moms?" They're all dead. We've got pill mills down here and they're passing these pills out. They're passing out pills down here like they're going through the McDonald's for french fries. I said "we will shut this down." How it operated all these years, I don't really understand. We shut the pill mills down. We put the crooked doctors in jail whenever we could.

We moved the Highway Patrol into more aggressive interdiction to remove illegal drugs. Here's the understanding about Ohio. Why is Ohio at the epicenter of all this? It's location. 600 miles within 60 percent of the country. It's only a day from Mexico and the drug cartels. Believe me. Talk to the patrol. It's only a few hours from Chicago.

Source: 2017 Ohio State of the State address Apr 5, 2017

John Kasich: StartTalking! Talk to kids to say no to opiates

On prescription opiate abuse: We were one of the first states to create prescribing guidelines for doctors. Seven days of opiates for adults and no more than five days for children. Don't be giving all this stuff. We linked our medical providers into our pharmacy system to slow doctor shopping. For those that are chronically ill, we're not out to take your medication away. But you're more closely watched by your physician.

We created StartTalking! Talk to your kids. Talk to somebody who's not your kid. Just talk about it. 50% less likelihood if somebody would do drugs, opiates, that's how they start. These young kids, they go to a party and somebody says, "hey, they've got a bowl of pills." That's the moment of truth. The answer is "no, I don't want to be cool by taking drugs." That's what we're trying to do with StartTalking!

We spent nearly $1 billion on this issue of drugs. Our work is paying off. A 20 percent reduction in opiate prescriptions. Doctor shopping has fallen by 80%.

Source: 2017 Ohio State of the State address Apr 5, 2017

Mike DeWine: Age-appropriate discussions in Kindergarten thru 12th grade

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine outlined proposals to restrict opioid abuse statewide. DeWine spoke with area law enforcement officials during a meeting of the Metro Toledo Criminal Justice Administrators in Oregon. He reiterated his support for their agencies and encouraged ideas for curtailing heroin use.

Accidental overdoses killed an average of eight people each day last year in Ohio. That total appears to still be climbing, he said. "I don't know that we've hit the bottom yet," he said.

It is encouraging, he added, that many now acknowledge this problem and are working toward a solution. DeWine suggested expanding the school curriculum for kindergarten through 12th grade with age-appropriate discussions on drugs. Reaching so many youth from an early stage is common sense, he said.

Source: Toledo Blade on 2018 Ohio gubernatorial race Jan 28, 2017

Rob Portman: No legalization; focus instead on drug prevention

Q: On Marijuana: Decriminalize and/or legalize marijuana?

Portman: No. Focus instead on drug prevention & rehabilitation.

Strickland: Yes

Source: CampusElect Voter Guide to 2016 Ohio Senate race Oct 9, 2016

Ted Strickland: Decriminalize and/or legalize marijuana

Q: On Marijuana: Decriminalize and/or legalize marijuana?

Portman: No. Focus instead on drug prevention & rehabilitation.

Strickland: Yes

Source: CampusElect Voter Guide to 2016 Ohio Senate race Oct 9, 2016

Ted Strickland: Medical cannabis is a "no-brainer"; decriminalize now

Democrat Ted Strickland, the state's former governor who also previously served in Congress, has called medical cannabis a "no-brainer" and said "decriminalization of marijuana should occur." He was a little more guarded about his position on a 2015 Ohio ballot initiative that would have legalized marijuana and allowed a small group of rich investors to control commercial cultivation. "If this was a straight marijuana legalization vote, I would vote yes," he said. "I am troubled by the monopoly aspect of it."

As a House member, Strickland voted in favor of the 2003 amendment to protect state medical marijuana laws from Justice Department interference.

Source: on 2016 Ohio Senate race Jun 13, 2016

P.G. Sittenfeld: Reform outdated marijuana laws that penalize possession

It is outrageous that nearly 1/3 of all black males will spend at least part of their lives in prison. And not because they are violent criminals: of the more than 2 million people who are now in American jails, a significant percentage are low-level offenders who were sent there for minor drug crimes, petty parole violations, or simply because they are awaiting trial.

I believe we can do better. That will mean rethinking arbitrary, mandatory minimum sentencing, especially for low-level, non-violent offenses that are more effectively handled through probation and diversion programs. We need to stop using our prisons as mental health facilities, and put more resources into treating psychological illness. And yes, I believe the time has come to revise and reform outdated state and federal marijuana laws that harshly penalize personal possession and make criminals out of otherwise law-abiding citizens.

Source: 2016 Ohio Senate race: Center of Hope Baptist Church speech Aug 9, 2015

P.G. Sittenfeld: Marijuana legalization & tight regulation

One issue Sittenfeld emphasized: Legal marijuana. The councilman endorsed the ResponsibleOhio plan for legalization and commercialization: "Sittenfeld said that, in general, he favors 'decriminalization, legalization, and tight regulation' of marijuana. Keeping marijuana illegal, he said, leads to brutal drug dealers, keeps cancer patients from alleviating their pain, and results in a disproportionate amount of black people going to jail."

Ted Strickland's spokesman said the former governor supports medical marijuana but has not yet taken a position on the ResponsibleOhio plan or competing proposals.

Republican Sen. Rob Portman, whom Strickland or Sittenfeld would face next year, opposes legalization, reports NEOMG's Stephen Koff.

Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer coverage of 2016 Ohio Senate race May 15, 2015

John Kasich: 50% lower chance of drug use if kids hear "don't do drugs"

"Start Talking": Do you know about this? We've got a lot of new members here. If a young person hears "do not do drugs," there is a 50 percent less chance they will ever do it. A 50 percent less chance. Now, in your districts, you can spread it. We've spoken now, I think--well, I know the last time I checked--to over 26,000 kids. We've gotten teachers involved. And, ladies and gentlemen that are here in Wilmington, I don't care where you are. You're in a restaurant? You walk over there and you see those kids. You tell them to stay off the drugs. [Look at] the tsunami of trouble we have in this community because of addiction. We need to be in our schools. We need to be in our communities. We need to be in our synagogues. We need to be in our churches. We need to be everywhere. Don't leave it to somebody else.
Source: State of the State address to 2015 Ohio Legislature Feb 24, 2015

Michael Pryce: Mandatory prison sentences for selling illegal drugs

Q: Do you support mandatory prison sentences for selling illegal drugs?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you support programs that provide prison inmates with substance abuse treatment?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you support reduced prison sentences for non-violent offenders?

A: No.

Source: Ohio Congressional Election 2010 Political Courage Test Nov 1, 2010

Eric Deaton: Rehabilitate drug sellers rather than just locking them up

Q: Do you support programs that provide prison inmates with vocational and job-related training and job-placement assistance when released?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you support programs that provide prison inmates with substance abuse treatment?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you support reduced prison sentences for non-violent offenders?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you support mandatory prison sentences for selling illegal drugs?

A: No. Educating and rehabilitating prison inmates to stop the cycle of crime in their lives will make them better citizens and more productive to society in the long run. We should work to stop this endless battle against crime in the repeat offenders and give them other options in life. In the long run this is a cheaper option than just locking them up over and over again.

Source: Ohio Congressional 2010 Political Courage Test Aug 11, 2010

Lee Fisher: Rid our streets of violence and illegal drugs

In this time of economic crisis, Ohio's state and local governments face new and daunting challenges to keep our communities safe and secure. More than ever, our courageous law enforcement officials need support from the federal government and a Senator who will work with them to help rid our streets of violence and illegal drugs that threaten the safety and security of every American.
Source: 2010 Senate campaign website,, "Issues" Dec 25, 2009

Lee Fisher: Created the award-winning Operation Crackdown program

As Ohio's Attorney General, Lee created the award-winning Operation Crackdown program, shutting down hundreds of dangerous drug houses throughout Ohio and ridding neighborhoods of illegal drugs. Lee also established the first-ever statewide law enforcement and crime victim conferences, which are now annual traditions in Ohio's law enforcement community.
Source: 2010 Senate campaign website,, "Issues" Dec 25, 2009

Steven Driehaus: Strengthen penalties and sentences for drug-related crimes

Source: 2000 Ohio National Political Awareness Test Nov 4, 2008

Eric Fingerhut: Decriminalize medical marijuana

Source: Ohio Congressional 2002 National Political Awareness Test Nov 5, 2002

Bob Taft: Enact more laws to fight methamphetamines

A danger is menacing our children. Whatever you call it - meth, ice, or crank - methamphetamines have many street names but a single result - lives destroyed. Law enforcement officials are seizing record amounts of meth, and seeing an alarming surge in the number of labs that produce it. So today, I ask you to join me in enacting laws to fight this illicit drug and to attack these toxic labs. We will not allow this drug to destroy more lives in Ohio!
Source: 2001 State of the State Address to Ohio Legislature Jan 24, 2001

Joyce Beatty: Strengthen penalties for drug-related crimes

Source: Ohio Legislative 2000 National Political Awareness Test Nov 1, 2000

Charlie Wilson: Strengthen penalties for drug-related crimes

Source: 1998 Ohio Legislative National Political Awareness Test Nov 1, 1998

  • The above quotations are from State of Ohio Politicians: Archives.
  • Click here for definitions & background information on Drugs.
  • Click here for other issues (main summary page).
2016 Presidential contenders on Drugs:
Gov.Jeb Bush(FL)
Dr.Ben Carson(MD)
Gov.Chris Christie(NJ)
Sen.Ted Cruz(TX)
Carly Fiorina(CA)
Gov.Jim Gilmore(VA)
Sen.Lindsey Graham(SC)
Gov.Mike Huckabee(AR)
Gov.Bobby Jindal(LA)
Gov.John Kasich(OH)
Gov.Sarah Palin(AK)
Gov.George Pataki(NY)
Sen.Rand Paul(KY)
Gov.Rick Perry(TX)
Sen.Rob Portman(OH)
Sen.Marco Rubio(FL)
Sen.Rick Santorum(PA)
Donald Trump(NY)
Gov.Scott Walker(WI)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee(RI)
Secy.Hillary Clinton(NY)
V.P.Joe Biden(DE)
Gov.Martin O`Malley(MD)
Sen.Bernie Sanders(VT)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren(MA)
Sen.Jim Webb(VA)

2016 Third Party Candidates:
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Roseanne Barr(PF-HI)
Robert Steele(L-NY)
Dr.Jill Stein(G,MA)
Please consider a donation to!
Click for details -- or send donations to:
1770 Mass Ave. #630, Cambridge MA 02140
(We rely on your support!)

Page last updated: Feb 13, 2018