(The AEGIS Alliance) – Virginia is ready to change into the first Southern state to legalize marijuana, an indication of the times in a state where Democrats have soared to power in recent times.
The state’s General Assembly voted 55-42 on Friday to permit the possession, manufacturing, and sale of the substance. The bill now goes to Democratic Governor Ralph Northam, who has already indicated he’ll sign it into law. After he does, regulated retailers will have the ability to begin selling cannabis in 2024.
“If you want to help marginalized communities, here is an opportunity,” Del. Don Scott stated at the hearing, according to The Virginian Pilot.
“This is an opportunity to invest in those communities that have been decimated by the so-called war on drugs and to give us an economic leg up.”
An investigation in 2018 by The Daily Press discovered that the state’s marijuana legal guidelines unfairly targeted Black Virginians. The assessment of courtroom information discovered that white folks charged with marijuana possession had been more likely to get a second chance, whereas Black defendants were much more likely to spend time in jail. Even though only 20% of the state’s residents are Black, and despite the fact that surveys have repeatedly proven Black and white folks use marijuana at similar rates, half of those charged in Virginia with first-offense marijuana possession had been Black.
The sale of marijuana in Virginia, the place Democrats took full control of the state’s legislature In 2019, is predicted to raise about $300 million in tax income, state research discovered.
With Northam’s signature, the money generated will go towards preschool and public health programs, addiction treatment, and programs to deal with the consequences of marijuana’s criminalization.
Northam is also creating a plan to expunge marijuana-related offenses, his office stated last month.
Kyle James Lee – The AEGIS Alliance – This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.