Liquor Referendum Petition Circulated for Marianna

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It won’t affect the General Election in November, but some voters in Jackson County want to change the way alcohol is served. Currently liquor can only be purchased in stores.

But a group calling itself The Jackson County Referendum Committee filed a petition this week, which could change Jackson County in more ways than one.

If you are looking for a little night life, maybe a few drinks with friends, Jackson County is not the place.

Ted Lacey is the county administrator and says, “Almost everyone in this city has to drive an hour to go have drinks at a bar or a club or something like that.”

But that could change if members of the Jackson County Referendum Committee get their wish to have voters approve liquor by the glass. They filed a petition with the Supervisor of Elections Office in Marianna. They have to get about 25 percent of the voters to sign the petition to get it on the ballot.

Chris Finch is a registered voter and says, “A lot of national restaurants won’t come here because they can’t have a bar as part of their restaurant.”

Jackson County already has about 30 liquor stores, many are even equipped with drive- through facilities. Some people charge that the stores will give you a cup with ice and are just encouraging drinking and driving.

The referendum could be held as early as next spring if there are enough signatures on the petitions.