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Virginia Governor Vetoes Bill To Legalize Cannabis Sales


Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin on Thursday vetoed a bill to legalize recreational marijuana sales, saying that regulated revenue of hashish would be a risk to health and security. Virginia legalized the possession of compact amounts of weed three a long time in the past, but individuals keep on being with out a authorized way to buy hashish in the condition.

The governor vetoed two equivalent costs handed by each and every chamber of the condition legislature, SB 448 in the Senate and HB 698 in the Home of Delegates. The legislation would have proven a controlled cannabis industry in Virginia, including provisions for the licensing of little and big merchants. 

Virginia lawmakers legalized the possession of compact amounts of marijuana for older people in 2021. But when the Republicans took command of the Household of Delegates next an election later on that yr, a essential second vote to legalize regulated hashish profits was under no circumstances held. 

“The proposed legalization of retail marijuana in the Commonwealth endangers Virginians’ health and fitness and safety,” Youngkin mentioned in his veto assertion. “States adhering to this path have witnessed adverse outcomes on children’s and adolescent’s health and basic safety, greater gang activity and violent crime, significant deterioration in psychological overall health, reduced road protection, and significant prices linked with retail marijuana that much exceed tax earnings.”

“It also does not get rid of the illegal black-industry sale of cannabis, nor assurance merchandise protection,” the governor ongoing. “Addressing the inconsistencies in enforcement and regulation in Virginia’s latest regulations does not justify growing accessibility to cannabis, adhering to the unsuccessful paths of other states and endangering Virginians’ wellbeing and safety.”

While Youngkin had earlier made it obvious he was not interested in authorizing controlled weed gross sales in Virginia, Democrats experienced hoped the laws which provide as a bargaining chip in negotiations for a system supported by the governor to develop a $2 billion athletics sophisticated in northern Virginia. But previously this month, the legislature passed the state’s last spending budget without which include funding for the proposal, setting the phase for Thursday’s veto of the cannabis income bill.

Lawmakers Blast Veto

Democratic Delegate Paul Krizek, the direct sponsor of the weed marketplace invoice in the Virginia Household of Delegates, explained that the governor’s veto will further more empower the state’s unregulated weed financial system.

“Governor Youngkin’s failure to act lets an already flourishing unlawful hashish sector to persist, fueling legal activity and endangering our communities,” he claimed in a statement cited by Politico. “This veto squandered a important possibility to safeguard Virginians and will only exacerbate the proliferation of illicit products, posing higher threats to our educational institutions and public security.”

Democratic point out Senator Aaron R. Rouse, the sponsor of the Senate edition of the bill, also decried Youngkin’s refusal to approve the laws.

“This veto blocks a pivotal option to progress public health, security, and justice in our Commonwealth,” Rouse mentioned in a prepared assertion to the Associated Press.

Rouse more criticized Youngkin’s veto of the marijuana revenue charges on social media, producing on X that the governor’s “dismissive stance towards addressing Virginia’s hashish profits dilemma is unacceptable. Community servants are obligated to tackle urgent issues. This legislation would have combated the unlawful sector & ensured accessibility to protected, examined and taxed hashish products.”

Governor Also Nixes Cannabis Sentencing Invoice

Youngkin also vetoed a hashish sentence modification monthly bill (SB 696) spearheaded by the Past Prisoner Job, a nonprofit working to safe the release of all cannabis prisoners. Adrian Rocha, coverage manager at the group, denounced the veto as a continuation of out-of-date coverage.

“Under the monthly bill, hundreds of persons billed for hashish offenses under outdated regulations would have had their sentences reevaluated in mild of legalization,” he wrote in a assertion emailed to Superior Times. “Instead, the Governor’s veto message not only overlooked the intention of this invoice but, much more importantly, dismissed the plight of hundreds of people across the Commonwealth whose life have been completely altered by prohibitionist rules repealed 3 many years ago!”

“Virginia may well have ended cannabis prohibition in 2021, but there remains a substantial injustice for individuals individuals who keep on to be incarcerated for offenses that are no for a longer period regarded illegal,” Rocha extra.

Despite the fact that Youngkin nixed each costs, Democrats nonetheless have an additional probability to make them regulation by overriding his vetoes. The legislature returns to the capitol on April 17 to reconsider expenditures vetoed or amended by the governor.

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