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"Grow Marion" Campaigns to Introduce Restaurant Alcohol Sales Ordinance

Toni Blay, Flickr Commons

A new effort to put alcohol sales on the local ballot has begun in Crittenden County, over a year and half after a previous pro-alcohol campaign failed.

The GrowMarion campaign launched its website this week to begin raising support for the initiative. 

24-year-old organizer Tyler Collins says he plans to get a proposal for wine and beer sales in restaurants seating 50 people or more to the Marion city council.

He says he wasn’t involved in the previous failed initiative which he says went too far by trying to bring alcohol by the drink and packaged sales to all of Crittenden County, a historically dry county. 

Collins says he believes more people will look upon this campaign more favorably for taking a more conservative measure.

"A lot of people see alcohol coming into a dry county as inevitable," said Collins. "Eventually at some point, public opinion is going to boil over but it doesn’t mean you need to go all the way to the extreme in one step. Actually, alcohol policy is a lot like wine, it’s got to age or it’s not any good." 

Collins says he looked at numerous alcohol ordinance campaigns including the 2012 Grow Murray initiative, but says Marion needs to run its own campaign. 

“I was definitely in support of the measure that Murray had in 2012," said Collins. "But Murray did it the right way also. Murray didn’t go from dry to ‘let’s sell liquor stores’; they had intermediate steps. But each community is different and each community needs a different policy.”

Collins says he wants to run a clean and educational campaign to inform citizens about the economic benefits of alcohol sales.

He says he’ll begin circulating the petition in the city within the next few weeks but is against littering the street with alcohol signage.

GrowMarion needs to acquire signatures from 25 percent of the last election’s city voters to put the ordinance on the ballot.  

Rob Canning is a native of Murray, KY, a 2015 TV Production grad of Murray State. At MSU, he served as team captain of the Murray State Rowing Club. Rob's goal is to become a screenwriter, film director or producer and looks to the likes of Quentin Tarantino and Guy Ritchie for inspiration. He appreciates good music, mainly favoring British rock n' roll, and approves of anything with Jack White's name on it. When not studying, rowing or writing, Rob enjoys spending his free time with a book or guitar.
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