Northam releases report on marijuana legalization

Northam releases report on marijuana legalization
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RICHMOND, Va. (WHSV) — Gov. Ralph Northam released the administration’s report on the impact of legalizing adult-use marijuana in Virginia on Monday.

According to a press release from the governor’s office, the report is the final product of the Virginia Marijuana Legalization Work Group.

“We will advance new laws to make sure that our commonwealth legalizes marijuana the right way,” said Governor Northam in the release. “Virginia has studied the experience of other states and this report lays out a path forward that leads with social equity, public health, and public safety.”

The press release says the report is nearly 400 pages worth of meeting minutes and outlines various aspects of marijuana legalization in the commonwealth, including taxation, banking, criminal justice, licensing and regulation and consumer safety.

The report also provides details on five key principles Northam wants to see in the final legalization bill. Per the press release, these details are:

  • Social equity, racial equity, and economic equity: Marijuana prohibition historically has been based in discrimination, and criminalization laws have disproportionately harmed minority communities. Legislation should focus on undoing these harms by including initiatives such as social equity license programs, access to capital, community reinvestment, and sealing or expunging records of past marijuana-related convictions.
  • Public health: Legislation should include substance abuse prevention efforts in schools and communities.
  • Protections for young people: As a pediatrician, Governor Northam will require any legislation include protections for Virginia’s youth, including age limits, mandatory ID checks, and education campaigns.
  • Upholding the Virginia Indoor Clean Air Act: Legislation should be aligned with the Virginia Indoor Clean Air Act prohibiting indoor tobacco use, which Governor Northam championed as a state senator.
  • Data collection: Legislation should ensure Virginia collects appropriate and ongoing information on safety, health, and equity.

You can read the full report here.

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