We asked online readers why voters in Ontario, generally considered a conservative community, repealed the city ban on recreational marijuana sales by a wide margin. 

Here’s a sample of the responses.

What was the turnout? 3000ish out of 14000? People are too lazy to make an informed vote, even when our state mails the ballot to them instead of going to a polling place, so a minority controls the majority. Then that nonvoting majority complains. Turn out is abysmal in this county, and not just for the local stuff. If the citizens didn’t want it, they should have done their duty.

– Travis Bradfield

I think people finally realized that marijuana has been here for decades. It is being sold illegally, so why not legalize it and have the tax dollars benefit a town that is in dire need of a financial boost.

– Melissa Tyler

I believe the majority voted in favor of it because of the potential for revenue, which is currently being lost to the city of Huntington. Also, I think that people are becoming more educated on the facts of marijuana rather than being blinded by their fear.

-— Virginia Scott

The almighty dollar is why it passed.

—Nicole Berry Weems

This was a simple vote for Freedom. Everyone who wants to use marijuana is already doing so, and no one is forcing anyone to try it. The simple fact is this is literally free revenue for the city, a boon to shore up the budget, and one that the neighbors across the bridge in Idaho would be well suited to examine as a means to lower income taxes without reducing the state budget.

— Gary Adams

Old regimes squandered the budgets, lost positive properties. Hoping this gift horse is something they can manage to make those properties boom again! Hopeful.

— Jolee Baker Orosco

A low cost herbal remedy that helps treat PTSD, seizures, and chronic pain. Without having to go to an overpriced physician that will prescribe drugs with numerous and possibly harmful side effects. The tax benefit to Ontario, and eventually all of Eastern Oregon is incalculable, since those dollars will be arriving from Idaho. And dang, even the biggest redneck I have known won’t turn down a toke once in awhile.

— Dennis Klein

Ontario is conservative yes, but I think after 4 years of recreational marijuana being legal in Oregon many voters recognize that this is a battle that we won’t win, either in the state or at the national level in its current direction. In international politics, I believe that Canada’s change sets the stage for further countries to consider legalization. The need for new revenue in Ontario adds to reasons for the change. Many voters recognized that taxing marijuana was a better deal for them personally as compared to a 1% sales tax.

— David Armstrong

I believe the character of Ontario is definitely changing. 

– Cindy Tolman

The culture of Ontario is changing. When the Starbucks coffee outfit came to town some folks thought it was the fall of western society. Cannabis approval (a plant by the way) was yet another hole in the “bubble” of the late 19th and 20th century lifestyle that Ontario embraces for better or worse.

– Michael Miller

I think people are beginning to learn more about its medical benefits.

— Christine Goettsche

The people of Ontario voted to lift the ban because the city Ontario is in such a mess financially the tax money from legal marijuana seemed like the only solution. Also the morality of society as a whole is changing so Ontario is just following suit, it was just a matter of time.

– Steve Ingram

There was a lot of emotional reaction to the idea by a vocal group who promoted old and outdated information fanning the fears of people who had no actual knowledge. Many still think CBD oil has THC in it and is dangerous. I wish folks would research and verify. Hopefully Ontario will see some revenue and spend it wisely. Audits are a must.

– Stacey Gehrman

It was the only issue that most of these voters cared enough about to come out for.

 – John Harris

Our hope is that the revenue will help Ontario. It’s legal in Oregon; why should Ontario not profit from it? Sure it brings more people, here but so does the prison.

– Dawn Tichenor

I think it passed because of a grassroots movement that was successful in getting the younger voters excited in the process.

 – Ron Kulm

I actually voted for a dispensary in Ontario as if they put one here it will be a tax that will help do other things for Ontario Oregon and I know that some things will be benefited by the dispensary. 

— Verna Defoe