Recreational cannabis use may be legal in Virginia by 2021 — letting the Commonwealth join states such as Colorado and California, as well as neighboring Washington DC, that allow their residents to freely use cannabis.
Governor Ralph Northam released a report by the Virginia Marijuana Legalization Work Group on Monday, November 30, which outlines five key principles the governor wants to see in any proposed cannabis legislation. These principles are: social and racial equity, public health efforts to curb substance abuse in schools, age limits and ID checks for cannabis purchasers, upholding the Virginia Indoor Clean Air Act — which prohibits cigarette smoking indoors — and ongoing data collection on health, safety, and equity.
House majority leader Charniele Herring sponsored the bill that decriminalized cannabis, which was passed during the 2020 session. Herring is also a sponsor of the studies currently being done on legalization.
“This is a thorough study, so there’s no need to delay. The draft study was 175 pages,” Herring said. Herring says that the legalization of cannabis will be beneficial for the state. “It’s a revenue producer, and there are some benefits to its medicinal use,” Herring said.
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