JAN 09, 2020 12:01 PM PST

Virginia Governor Pushes Cannabis Decriminalization

WRITTEN BY: Julia Travers

Will the Old Dominion accept marijuana decriminalization?

Democrats took the majority in Virginia’s state House and Senate in 2019, opening the door for possible movement on the Commonwealth's decriminalization and/or legalization of recreational cannabis. In his recent State of the Commonwealth speech, Governor Ralph Northam (D) called for decriminalization and other reforms.

Medical marijuana is currently legal in 33 states and Washington, DC. Eleven states and D.C. have now legalized the recreational use of marijuana. About 60 percent of Americans support legalizing recreational marijuana and 94 percent are in favor of medical marijuana, according to a Quinnipiac poll.

“We need to take an honest look at our criminal justice system to make sure we’re treating people fairly and using taxpayer dollars wisely. This means decriminalizing marijuana possession—and clearing the records of people who’ve gotten in trouble for it,” Northam said, according to Forbes. He also spoke up for decriminalizing possession in his 2017 campaign, as well, and in a recent policy speech on criminal justice reform.

The Governor has noted that people of color are disproportionately impacted by marijuana arrests. Race has been a loaded issue for Northam, who admitted last year to being in a high school yearbook photo showing one person in Black face and one in a Klan robe.

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring (D), hosted a pro-decriminalization cannabis summit in late 2019.

“It's time for Virginia to decriminalize, address past convictions and move toward legal, regulated adult use,” Herring tweeted before the summit.

Multiple related bills have been filed in the state. It is also expected that Virginia’s House and Senate will soon attempt to address the minimum wage, gun control, education and voting access, among other issues.

Watch the full State of the Commonwealth speech here:

Article sources:

Forbes

WUSA9

 
About the Author
  • Julia Travers is a writer, artist and teacher. She frequently covers science, tech, conservation and the arts. She enjoys solutions journalism. Find more of her work at jtravers.journoportfolio.com.
You May Also Like
JUL 19, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
Cannabis May Relieve Pain from Sickle Cell Disease
JUL 19, 2020
Cannabis May Relieve Pain from Sickle Cell Disease
Due to the rise in opioid-associated deaths, physicians and researchers are on the constant lookout for new, healthier o ...
JUL 23, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
Lab Tests Show Levels of THC Can Rise in CBD Oil During Storage
JUL 23, 2020
Lab Tests Show Levels of THC Can Rise in CBD Oil During Storage
To be federally legal in all states CBD (cannabidiol) oil must contain less than 0.3 percent of the psychoactive ingredi ...
SEP 21, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
Why Do We Build Tolerance to Cannabis?
SEP 21, 2020
Why Do We Build Tolerance to Cannabis?
Many notice that after regularly smoking cannabis, it takes more and more to feel its effects- if any at all. While abst ...
OCT 25, 2020
Health & Medicine
Over 4 in 10 People With MS Have Used Cannabis in the Last Year
OCT 25, 2020
Over 4 in 10 People With MS Have Used Cannabis in the Last Year
University of Michigan researchers have found that Americans with Multiple sclerosis (MS) are twice as likely as the gen ...
NOV 11, 2020
Health & Medicine
Who Gets Cannabis Use Disorder? A Risk Prediction model Could Find Out
NOV 11, 2020
Who Gets Cannabis Use Disorder? A Risk Prediction model Could Find Out
Along with the benefits of cannabis come some downsides. One of these is cannabis use disorder (CUD), which is predicted ...
NOV 15, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
Cannabis Almost 25% Stronger Now than 50 Years Ago
NOV 15, 2020
Cannabis Almost 25% Stronger Now than 50 Years Ago
Researchers from the University of Bath in England have found that cannabis has increased in strength by up to 25% in th ...
Loading Comments...