Rejecting the green

Creswell votes against pot sales — again

Christopher Palanuk // The Torch

Residents of Creswell, Ore. voted on Nov. 7 against passing Measure 20-280, which would have allowed recreational pot sales in the city limits.

According to the secretary of state’s website, 1,990 people voted. Almost 85 percent voted no.

According to Michelle Amberg, Creswell’s city administrator, this is the second vote in two years regarding marijuana in Creswell. In October 2016, the city voted to prohibit recreational and medical sales of marijuana.

“This was not done by the city council, this was an initiative,” Amberg said regarding the Nov. 7 measure.

One community member, Tonya Rager, expressed disappointment in the measure’s failure. In 2002, she started a business called Blondie’s Blooms and Berries Nursery but had to stop sales due to the lack of business. She currently operates a blueberry farm and recently started growing marijuana. She hopes to eventually sell to stores or through a retailer.

Rager mentioned that marijuana in Creswell would bring more jobs to the area that pay higher than minimum wage and taxes to support community services like the police department. She has been frustrated with the lack of growth in the city. The only grocery store shut down about five years ago and one of the new arrivals in town was a second dollar bargain store. Rager didn’t get to vote in the Nov. 7 election because she lives in the Cloverdale community — outside of city boundaries — and voting was for city residents.

“I understand that nobody wants the growth. But we need growth. We need jobs,” Rager said.