Virginia governor seeks to accelerate marijuana legalization

Virginia governor seeks to accelerate marijuana legalization
Governor Northam holding a press briefing. (FILE) (Source: VPM)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — People 21 and over in Virginia could legally possess and grow small amounts of marijuana beginning in July under changes the governor is proposing to legislation the General Assembly passed this year.

That’s about three years faster than the original legislation.

Racial justice advocates and some fellow Democrats had called on Governor Ralph Northam to speed up the timeline for legalization.

Retail sales won’t go into effect until 2024 under the bill. Lawmakers will convene in April to consider Northam’s proposed amendments. His office said Black Virginians have been disproportionately policed and convicted for using marijuana, even after lawmakers decriminalized marijuana last year.

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