No opposition? Virginia Governor Proposes Accelerated Marijuana Legalization

If the proposal passes, Virginia would become the 15th state to legalize marijuana. The measure has been a top priority for Democrats leading the V.I. administration, who see it as a necessary step to end the disparate treatment of people of color under current marijuana laws.

A coalition of groups advocating for marijuana legalization – hailed the July 1 legalization date as “a first step toward ending racist marijuana enforcement. The Virginia Legislative Black Caucus also praised the amendments.

Northam’s office said the accelerated legalization of marijuana is based on a study last year that found black Virginians were disproportionately policed and convicted for marijuana use.

The governor’s amendments would allow adults 21 and older to legally possess up to 1 ounce (28.3 grams) of marijuana starting July 1, and also allow up to four plants per household to be grown starting July 1.

Not all lawmakers supported the legislation. Democratic Sen. Chap Peterson voted against the bill and remained skeptical despite Northam’s amendment.

Northam’s amendment would maintain current public safety measures that prohibit smoking marijuana while driving, smoking while driving a school bus and possession of marijuana on campus.