U.S. Virgin Islands Lawmakers Pass Cannabis Legalization Bill

U.S. Virgin Islands Lawmakers Pass Cannabis Legalization Bill
High Times

Lawmakers in the U.S. Virgin Islands last week passed legislation to legalize recreational marijuana, bringing the number of states and territories in the country that have legalized the use of cannabis by adults to 21. The legislation was passed in the U.S. Virgin Islands Senate on December 30 by a veto-proof majority vote of 11-1. Governor Albert Bryan, who has expressed strong support for cannabis policy reform, is expected to sign the legislation, according to media reports. The legislation was approved in conjunction with another bill that expunges past convictions for marijuana-related offenses, which was passed by senators on Friday with a unanimous vote. Senator Janelle K. Sarauw, the sponsor of the recreational marijuana legalization bill, said that the legislation was a collaborative effort by advocates who overcame opposition to comprehensive cannabis policy reform. “Although there have been many politically driven false narratives about this cannabis legislation, I am proud of the work done by the Senators of the 34th Legislature, community stakeholders and advocates, all of who contributed to the structuring of the final bill voted upon in today’s Session,” Sarauw said in a press release posted to Facebook. “The body did its due diligence in protecting the masses and the best interest of our residents by ensuring that locals and minorities are not locked out of industry and have any opportunity to participate in its economic potential.” Senators Worked Through Holiday To Finalize Bill Senators reportedly worked over the Christmas holiday to work out some concerns with the proposed bill, eventually making some changes to the measure’s language in an amended version of the legislation.  “It became contentious, we almost went to war over cannabis,” Sarauw said jokingly in a statement quoted by The Virgin Islands Consortium, adding that “every single amendment, every single suggestion that members made…

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