Previously, a Virginia senator went on record speaking out against the legalization of marijuana in the state, saying that making weed legal will lead to “marijuana overdoses.”
However, it seems the state doesn’t agree, as Virginia has become the first southern state to legalize marijuana. This past Wednesday, Governor Ralph Northam’s proposed amendments to a legalization bill were approved, and one of the changes included legalizing weed possession starting July 1, 2021, as opposed to the date of January 1, 2024. The bill reportedly allows adults 21 and over to possess up to an ounce of marijuana and permits households to grow up to four marijuana plants. However, retail sales for weed won’t start until 2024. Despite those changes, the consumption of marijuana in public will still be illegal. Governor Ralph Northam addressed the change via Twitter, saying, “This is a monumental step to address racial disparities in our criminal justice system and build an equitable, inclusive future for our Commonwealth.”
Today, Virginia can make history as the first state in the South to legalize the simple possession of marijuana—and restore justice to those harmed by decades of over criminalization.
I urge the General Assembly to adopt my amendments and make this happen.
— Ralph Northam (@GovernorVA) April 7, 2021