To the Editor:
A recent front page story in our newspaper brought more depressing economic news to Grant County. Four more stores will be closing or downsizing — adding their names to the long list of businesses that have had to close down and lay off employees in recent years. This trend is not getting better; it’s getting worse. As these businesses close, our county population continues to shrink, leaving fewer and fewer people to shop at the few remaining stores left. So who’s next? We can change the trend at least somewhat. In May, Initiative 12-71 will be voted on. A yes vote will allow recreational marijuana sales and production in Grant County. A yes vote means jobs and the opportunity to receive a share of the state revenue being collected from a projected billion-dollar industry. We would get money for schools, law enforcement, mental health and drug rehabilitation, as well as money for the local government. Recreational dispensary would increase tourism as well as give local residents the opportunity to shop for a variety of products including CBD lotions and oils, which have no intoxicating effects. We have to diversify our economy. If we do nothing, everyone loses. As the nation’s economy improves, Grant County continues to decline. Personally, I’m sick of watching this happen to our community. So when there’s at least a partial solution promising jobs and tax revenue and it’s as easy as voting yes on a ballot in May, I’m voting to improve our economy, regardless of personal views of marijuana. So open your mind and do what’s best for Grant County.