Thursday in this space we wrote about our opposition to legalized recreational marijuana in Arkansas.
Now we want to hear from you.
Almost three years after voters gave their OK to medical marijuana, a group called Drug Policy Education plans to circulate two ballot petitions. One would allow recreational marijuana, with sales to begin on Dec. 4, 2020. The other would allow people convicted of low-level marijuana crimes to have their records cleared. Residents would be able to grow a small number of plants at home as well.
Proponents tout tax revenue. Opponents say legal recreational marijuana brings more bad than good.
We want to know what you think. Would you vote to legalize recreational marijuana in Arkansas? Or are you opposed?
Send your response (50 words maximum) to firstname.lastname@example.org by Wednesday, July 17. You can also mail your response to the Texarkana Gazette Friday Poll, at P.O. Box 621, Texarkana, TX 75504 or drop it off at our office, 101 E. Broad St., Texarkana, Ark. Be sure to include your name, address and phone number. We will print as many responses as we can in next Friday's paper.
Last Week: Entertainment District?
Last week's question was about the proposal for a downtown Arkansas-side entertainment district that would allow the open carry of alcoholic beverages purchased from bars and restaurants located within the boundaries. Do you support creating an entertainment district in downtown Texarkana? Or are you opposed?
Creating an entertainment district in downtown Texarkana, on Arkansas side, is a pretty good idea, and certainly worth doing, especially "A Different Open Carry," meaning "making it a place for folks to buy an adult beverage" and stand around visiting and enjoying it. We are trying to make our Downtown area of Texarkana, attractive enough, for visitors and tourists.—B.J., Texarkana, Texas
Agree with, "more negatives than positives." Promoting local interest, and tourism, by removing restrictions on public drinking—we all (should) know the bottom line for the city is money. As the city ponders this enticement, they should also drop resistance for police pay. They will need to entice the officers they have to stay, and entice more to join. Even if the drinkers are responsible, there will be an increase in those who are not—law breaker.—D.H.M., Texarkana, Ark.
- Yes please let's do it downtown could be so much more than it is now. It would help our economy and those more worried about the more seedy elements weekend up our police force which helps with more jobs An arts and entertainment district fantastic.
- Not if it means more drinking or the possibility of increased crime isn't addressed.
- I vote yes for the Broad Street area. It's close enough to BiState to feel safer than in some areas in other cities that I have been to.
- Yep, let people smoke weed as well.
- Yes we need more things in downtown area. It's slowly fading and Texarkana needs more for the area.
- Go for it and let's bring down town back to life. I say call it the Rail Road District.
- So, it can't be festive without alcohol?
- Downtown is dead. Nearly everything south of I30 is dead. Having an Entertainment district will bring in jobs, and tourism. You guys should visit Jefferson, Texas. They have turned their dead downtown into restaurants, bars, antique stores, and museums. So yes get Downtown revitalized!
- Exactly what downtown Texarkana needs! Those who don't drink alcohol don't have to but it definitely adds an entertainment element for those who want it.
- Pub/bar crawls are the best it also allows for more 'parties' like st Patty's, Mardi Gras etc etc, where people can walk up and down the 'strip.'
- Bottoms up!
- It would be great in theory, but the asinine behavior of some seem to ruin events. Sad.
- Texarkana needs more drunks.
- Is this a last chance effort or are the other options. If there are no other options, what have you got to lose?
- It would increase the businesses downtowns profits. People would be able to sit outside, drink ,visit and smoke. Everyone wants "patio sections" at restaurants for this purpose. Why deny that to places downtown. People could eat at one place then walk down and enjoy music and drinking at another. The "crime rate" downtown is actually lower than most everywhere else in Texarkana. I figure most people who would take advantage of it are the people who already like some of the establishments downtown.
- Absolutely! Revive downtown and make the city thrive and alive again.
- If you're going to go big city you best add a whole lot more to our Police Departments than what we got.
- Only if you make it upscale because otherwise there is going to be a whole lot of low class, ill behaved, fighting, THUGS down there. It seems like Texarkana has become a place full of that kind of crap and it's less stressful to go to another city and not have to worry about being disrespected, assaulted, or having your vehicle broken into when you park somewhere.
- Awesome idea and great revenue opportunities for the Ark side.
- Miller County should just go dry.The bars and liquor stores just add to the violence that already goes on.
- Never a good idea if selling alcohol is our best hope for a vibrant downtown. Consumption of alcohol tears down instead of builds up. Come up with a plan to promote safe, kid/family entertainment that promotes a positive atmosphere.
- Revitalizing downtown AFTER they permit drinking alcohol in public?
- Yes, it would being in more jobs, etc. and let's face it downtown needs to be revived.
- If you have to have alcohol to have a good time, you need to reexamine your life. A family atmosphere is a much better idea! Alcohol suppresses the brain centers that control behavior. I suspect open carrying of alcohol will lead to intimidating behavior that will make the people we want to attract avoid the area. Who is going to determine the limitations? Personally, if I find obnoxious behavior in a place, I DO NOT RETURN. I don't give out second chances to an environment I find distasteful. There are designated areas for drinking alcohol. An area intended for multiple families, including all ages of children, to enjoy is not one of them.
- Middle Aged, socially conservative Texarkana residents who've never lived in any other city: "I say the city should fight any kind of change and leave things the way they are"
- The planners for this need to go visit other cities where a similar size area was transformed and is now successful, such as Fayetteville, NC; Boone, NC; Eureka Springs, AR; Hot Springs, AR; etc. Then make informed decisions.
- Absolutely FOR IT!!!
- Yes!! I think it sounds great!!
- Well this will just be a hot mess
- You heard it here first - HOBO DISTRICT!
- If they do the homework. Look at Jefferson Texas. It would mean a lot of work. If it would truly help downtown.
- Glug glug
- I'm going to go out on a limb here and say the people who are against this idea or who want it to be a "family friendly" are the same people who currently do not support anything that happens downtown right now. Food truck festival, Railfest, parades. The issue here is a lot of Texarkana doesn't support Texarkana. People would rather vacation in towns that actually have an entertainment district or more options of things to do. So why not push for Texarkana to become one of those destination places? If our locals won't support the local businesses, then why not allow tourists to do so? Stop blaming our current crime situation on alcohol. I can assure you alcohol isn't the root of the crime issues we have in Texarkana.
- I'm so for this! Let's make downtown Texarkana alive again!!
- Greenville, Sulphur Springs, soooooo many other towns have a cool, artsy, festive downtown.
- Sad to say, but there are far too many people in this town who always seem to ruin our nice things. As much as this sounds like a great idea. We all know, it will be ruined by hoodlums.
- No. It would not be good for our teenagers
- No we have enough trouble as is. Drinking in the streets is the last thing we need
- Should have been done years ago.
- It works for Memphis, San Antonio and Fayetteville
- As long as it's patrolled decently and not run over by thugs, I support.
- Sounds like a great idea.
- I think Texarkana needs something like this but I'm afraid you'll have the same issues you have already where the youth will ruin it for everyone else. I feel safer in Shreveport than I do when I go to Texarkana and that's sad.
- Can't trust Texarkana people It'll last all of 2 days if it happens
- To make a town alive work more on kid/teen areas to entice families to vacation here. Texarkana offers nothing for families to stay here and enjoy this town. The mall is a joke, downtown is dying and the crime rate due to jobless, or better activities to offer than mischievous behavior is out of control.
- I've seen it working well in many small and large towns. Wichita Falls has created a very vibrant arts/crafts and music district centered around the historical downtown area. It's a great place for people to come out and spend money. I'm all for it.
- Well, considering that Texarkana already has a high crime and violence rate, and is not winning any safest city Awards.. Might as well jazz it up with some entertainment.
- Good luck on that with all the prudes that want to keep the city in the Dark Ages.
- All I see posting, not just on this but lots of other posts, is stuff for kids, nothing for kids. Not sure if younger ones know. But there was a time when Texarkana had tons of stuff. A vibrant mall, a vibrant downtown, skating rinks, swimming pools, races even a small zoo (back in day) and much more. So a lot of what people always say "I wish we had " more than likely we did at one time and due to no support like most they are no more!
- Well one thing for sure if this passes the city will make more money on DWIs. But seriously I don't think it's a good idea. Texarkana is already crazy enough. Just look at the Sparks In the Parks event this year!
- Yes! Definitely for it. The ones against it I'm sure are against most everything that involves building the city up to be better.
- I dunno, seems like we would be better off developing some new business's etc around the river like Shreveport. San Antonio. We don't really have a feature downtown. Wouldn't there be a-lot less red tape developing on undeveloped land instead of trying to remodel old buildings?
- Sounds like a great idea to me!