With drug prices and victims’ rights making up some of the bigger issues up for vote this year, it’s important to take time to vote in local elections. 

As the Nov. 7 election approaches, here’s where The Post stands on those issues and more.

Issue 1

Though Issue 1, commonly called Marsy’s Law, has the right idea in mind with supporting a victim, it goes too far at the expense of due process. People are innocent until proven guilty, and allowing Marsy’s Law could disrupt the process to a speedy trial. The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio opposes the issue, and states that it “threatens the fundamental rights of the accused in the criminal justice system.” 

The issue came about in California after the mother of a student who had been murdered encountered the accused in a grocery store just a week after the murder. The idea of the issue is to protect the victim and those affected by the crime. In Ohio, that type of encounter is already less likely to happen because restraining orders are placed on the accused, according to The Cincinnati Enquirer.  

For those reasons, we chose to oppose Issue 1. 

Issue 2

Requiring the state and state agencies to pay "no more for prescription drugs than the price paid by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs" seems like a good idea in theory. 

It’s really difficult to gauge, however, whether this would actually bring about a change in drug prices and if it would bring to change to a large enough group of people. It’s unclear how much prices would be lowered — if they would even be lowered at all — if the issue were to pass. Some of the VA's deals are confidential, which would make it difficult to even compare the final prices in the end because that lowest price might not be known to the public. For those with private insurance, it wouldn’t have any direct effect on drug costs.

The lack of concrete information about how that would affect people leaves us skeptical. Vote no on Issue 2. 

Levies 

Four separate tax renewal levies are on the ballot: a 1 percent income tax levy for the Athens City School District, a 1.8-mill levy for the Athens County Board of Developmental Disabilities, a 1-mill levy for Athens County Emergency Medical Services and a 1-mill levy for the Athens-Hocking-Vinton Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services, or 317 Board, District.

We support all of the renewal levies. All provide important services to the Athens area and are geared toward continuing a high quality of service with those organizations, particularly the 317 Board and the Athens County Board of Developmental Disabilities. 

The Athens Cannabis Ordinance

The Post’s coverage of The Athens Cannabis Ordinance, or TACO, gives a lot of insight into this issue. The Athens Police Department and the Ohio University Police Department have higher priorities than marijuana citations.  

The ordinance would not have an effect on OUPD’s citations because officers write citations based on the Ohio Revised Code. It is also important to note the ordinance is not decriminalization; rather, it is the depenalization of marijuana. That means marijuana possession is still illegal and can end up on your record, but the ordinance aims to reduce penalties for those in Athens. 

The shift to depenalize marijuana would be a step in the right direction for those who want to see fewer disciplinary measures in the future. We think TACO would be a starting point and an effective way to see how depenalization could work.

Editorials represent the majority opinion of The Post's executive editors: Editor-in-Chief Elizabeth Backo, Managing Editor Kaitlin Coward and Senior Editor Marisa Fernandez. Digital Managing Editor Hayley Harding was not involved with endorsements because she is involved with The Post’s coverage of elections. Post editorials are independent of the publication's news coverage.

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