Virginia lawmakers OK Northam’s changes to marijuana billPosted by On


RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The Democrat-controlled Virginia General Assembly voted Wednesday to accept Gov. Ralph Northam’s proposed changes to a marijuana legalization bill that will allow limited possession and cultivation of the drug starting in July.

Northam sent the bill back to lawmakers substantially changed from the version they sent him February. The amendments lawmakers agreed to Wednesday would accelerate the timeline of legalization by about three years, a move that’s been cheered by racial justice advocates.

“The time has come for our state to legalize marijuana. The amendments ensure that while we’re doing the complicated work of standing up a commercial market, we aren’t delaying immediate reforms that will make our Commonwealth more equitable for all Virginians,” House Majority Leader Charniele Herring said in urging her colleagues to vote for the governor’s changes.

Northam’s amendments cleared the House 53-44 with two abstentions. The Senate later deadlocked 20-20 and Democratic Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax broke the tie, voting to approve them.

Republicans, who overwhelmingly opposed the bill when it initially went through the General Assembly, railed against the latest version.

GOP Del. Chris Head called the bill “a train wreck.”

“The hard-fought compromise that barely made it out of this chamber and over to the Senate has just been discarded. And why is that? It’s because some activists want marijuana legalized and they want it legalized…

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The Democrat-controlled Virginia General Assembly voted Wednesday to accept Gov. Ralph Northam’s proposed changes to a marijuana legalization bill that will allow limited possession and cultivation of the drug starting in July.

Northam sent the bill back to lawmakers substantially changed from the version they sent him February. The amendments lawmakers agreed to Wednesday would accelerate the timeline of legalization by about three years, a move that’s been cheered by racial justice advocates.

“The time has come for our state to legalize marijuana. The amendments ensure that while we’re doing the complicated work of standing up a commercial market, we aren’t delaying immediate reforms that will make our Commonwealth more equitable for all Virginians,” House Majority Leader Charniele Herring said in urging her colleagues to vote for the governor’s changes.

Northam’s amendments cleared the House 53-44 with two abstentions. The Senate later deadlocked 20-20 and Democratic Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax broke the tie, voting to approve them.

Republicans, who overwhelmingly opposed the bill when it initially went through the General Assembly, railed against the latest version.

GOP Del. Chris Head called the bill “a train wreck.”

“The hard-fought compromise that barely made it out of this chamber and over to the Senate has just been discarded. And why is that? It’s because some activists want marijuana legalized and they want it legalized…



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