Virginia Governor Signals He’ll Push To Legalize Marijuana On July 1, Ahead Of Schedule

MJ moment

Ahead of an end-of-month deadline to propose changes to a marijuana legalization bill that’s on his desk, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) is signaling he’d like the state to legalize personal possession of cannabis as soon as July 1—two and a half years before lawmakers planned. Under the legislature’s proposal, passed by the Senate and House of Delegates last month, possession of marijuana wouldn’t become legal until January 1, 2024—timed to coincide with the launch of the commercial market. But while Northam has yet to formally declare whether he’ll seek to move up the timeline, he said in comments this week that he doesn’t like the idea of continuing to punish people for something that will soon be legal. “I personally don’t think we should be arresting or penalizing somebody for something we’re getting ready to legalize,” he told VPM in an interview Wednesday. “I plan to place a number of amendments in front of the legislature, and hopefully we’ll be able to move those forward.” The radio station also reported that several sources close to the governor have indicated he plans to move up legalization’s effective date. A source familiar with the discussions told Marijuana Moment the governor’s office is also exploring a number of possible pathways to speed up other provisions of the legalization measure, including those concerning when sales could begin and the process for expunging past cannabis convictions—but has not yet made any final decisions. Other specific amendments the governor might be considering ahead of his upcoming Wednesday deadline for proposing changes to the legislation remain unknown. It’s not clear, for example, whether moving up the date on personal possession would affect home cultivation for personal use, which also wouldn’t become legal until 2024 under the legislature’s plan. Legalization advocates have asked the governor to consider…

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Source : Virginia Governor Signals He’ll Push To Legalize Marijuana On July 1, Ahead Of Schedule

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