Sherwood voters just say no (again) to recreational marijuana
(This story has been updated to reflect the latest election numbers and comments from Sherwood Gazette Facebook readers.)
For the second time in a year, Sherwood residents have said "no" to approving the sale of recreational marijuana within city limits.
On Nov. 7, unofficial results for Measure 34-277 showed it losing handily. By the next day, updated numbers showed the measure failed 63.20 percent to 36.80 percent.
The measure would have put tight restrictions on where such facilities could have been located, limiting them to an industrial corridor between Sherwood and Tualatin on Tualatin-Sherwood Road.
Proponents had argued it would provide needed tax revenue and a large billboard urging passage of the measure recently went up on Highway 99W and Edy Road, paid for by the Sherwood of Tomorrow Political Action Committee.
No visable opposition to Measure 34-277 was apparent in the form of billboards, lawn signs or inside the Washington County Voters' Pamplet. Support for the measure came largely from industry owners, growers, employees and their supporters in the voters' pamplet.
Also, both former Sherwood City Council member Jennifer Harris and current Councilor Sean Garland had expressed support for allowing recreational sales, pointing in part to the tax revenue it would generate while former Councilor Sally Robinson had vigorously fought against allowing such sales.
To some, the measure's defeat was no surprise.
Linda Henderson, a former city council member who opposed recreational marijuana facilities in the city during her time on the council, said she was pleasantly surprised the measure didn't pass as well as with the margin of opposition.
"This is what happens, in my opinion, when it's not a grass roots effort regarding a real issue that Sherwood citizens are concerned about."
In November 2016, Sherwood voters turned down a measure also asking if residents would permit recreational marijuana facilities in the city by an opposition vote of more than 56 percent.
However, the initial opposition to allowing marijuana sales in the city came almost two years ago when the Sherwood City Council passed a resolution banning recreational marijuana sales and outlets by a vote of 5-2, forcing the measure to the November 2016 vote.
While a November 2014 election legalized the sale of limited amounts of recreational marijuana statewide, 53 percent of Sherwood voters voted against its legalization.
The debate regarding the wisdom of Sherwood voters was hotly debated on the Sherwood Gazette Facebook posts after the polls closed with comments ranging from "Lots of uptight uneducated folks in that town" to "What recreational drugs in our city limits says about our community and the message that sends to our youth is more important to me than the potential tax revenue."
Currently, recreational marijuana sales are available in Newberg and King City.
Despite the vote, medical marijuana facilities and sales are permitted in the city. So far, one retail medical marijuana facility, Western Oregon Dispensary, has opened in the city.