A bill to legalize marijuana was approved on Monday by the Virginia House of Delegates. A similar ruling is expected from the Senate later through the week.
The proposal that is House-passed will perceive mere possession to be a civil penalty and will levy a maximum of $25 fine, whereas the Current policy defines that the initial offense is levied by $500 fine max along with serving up to thirty days in jail. The bill was approved by the Lawmakers in a 64-34poll.
Jenn Michelle Pedini, executive director of Virginia NORML, told Marijuana Moment said,
Momentum was slow to build during the first half of the session, but I think a lot of consensus has been reached by the halfway point.
He added further,
We’re heading into crossover with a much clearer understanding of what’s likely to shake out from this session.
Advocates assert that both the bills for decriminalization will be approved. In case of the senate version proceeds, lawmakers are to assemble a committee of conference to restrain the law in a unified proposal which will be sent to Governor, Ralph Northam (D). In the Senate, decriminalization of marijuana will get the first recitation on Monday in the chamber. It will then get a complete floor vote prior to the Tuesdays deadline to transfer bills from one body to another. This comes after the votes from the chamber’s Judiciary as well as Appropriations Committees are successfully cast.
While a number of advocates perceive the decriminalization of marijuana as a stride towards a brighter future, there has been some opposition from the state’s ACLU chapter against both the bills. They argue that there aren’t currently enough efforts and measures to resolve social equity as well as restorative justice. Del. Don Scott Jr. (D) refused to back the progressive decriminalization before the vote rendering the status quo intact and said that expecting a wider difference is “cray cray.”
Northam, although did not publicly endorse the legalization in Virginia, still, the Attorney General Mark Herring (D) indicated that there might be some information soon on the matter.
Following this, Herring, running for 2021 governor elections, conducted a meeting to listen to the officials of the states regarding their experiences with the legalization of cannabis. Legislation that let non-residents living across the state to get medical cannabis was sanctioned last week in the house. SB 185 that might offer protections to caretakers of medical marijuana patients for better living facilities got its initial reading last Friday.
Earlier, a distinct rule of cannabis legislation was passed by the Senate. The rule required the commission to
study and make recommendations for how Virginia should go about legalizing and regulating the growth, sale, and possession of marijuana by July 1, 2022, and address the impacts of marijuana prohibition.