Virginia Set To Be First Southern State To Legalize Marijuana

Written by on February 5, 2021

Virginia is ready to change into the primary Southern state to legalize marijuana, an indication of the occasions in a state the place Democrats have soared to energy lately. 

The state’s Normal Meeting voted 55-42 on Friday to permit the possession, manufacture and sale of the substance. The laws now goes to Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam, who has already indicated he’ll signal it. After he does, regulated retailers will be capable of begin promoting hashish in 2024. 

“If you wish to assist marginalized communities, right here is a chance,” Del. Don Scott stated on the listening to, The Virginian-Pilot reported. “This is a chance to spend money on these communities which were decimated by the so-called conflict on medicine and to present us an financial leg up.”

A 2018 investigation by The Each day Press discovered that the state’s marijuana legal guidelines unfairly focused Black Virginians. The assessment of courtroom knowledge discovered that white folks charged with marijuana possession have been extra prone to get a second likelihood, whereas Black defendants have been much more prone to spend time behind bars. Although solely 20% of the state’s residents are Black, and regardless that surveys have repeatedly proven Black and white folks use marijuana at related charges, half of these charged in Virginia with first-offense marijuana possession have been Black.

The sale of marijuana in Virginia, the place Democrats took full management of the state’s legislature In 2019, is predicted to boost about $300 million in tax income, a state research discovered. With Northam’s signature, the cash raised will go towards preschool and public well being packages, habit therapy and packages to deal with the results of marijuana’s criminalization.

Northam is also growing a plan to expunge marijuana-related offenses, his workplace stated final month. 

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