Two bills were brought forward in the state of Virginia bills that would have legalized the adult use of marijuana. However, these bills were recently shot down by a legislative committee. The House of Delegates Courts of Justice Committee also killed different measures that were meant to decriminalized marijuana.
The sponsor of the legalization and decriminalization bill, Del. Steve Heretick, stated that the denial of the bill was recently posted on their Facebook page.
According to Heretick, it was a devastating day for the people of Virginia and that the House Courts of Justice Committee defeated both my marijuana legalization and decriminalization bills. He also said that “This is just the start of the battle. I have been hearing from many Virginians this week who have filled my suit with phone calls, emails, texts, visits, and social media posts, sharing their personal experiences. I have been very pleased by the number of people who have shown their support. I made a decision, and while many political figures in Richmond slyly favored the bill, just some of them were courageous enough to stand publicly with me. I will constantly fight for Virginians of all walks of life, from all political backgrounds, who share the same belief that the prohibition of marijuana prohibition has been a failure.”
If the legalization bill of Heretick were successful, it would have successfully legalized the recreational use and indoor cultivation of marijuana for adults 21 and above. The bill would also have placed a regulatory system for the commercial cultivation and sales of marijuana. The bill would have put a certain amount of tax on the sales of cannabis, and a certain percentage of the revenue produced will be sent to the state’s general fund. The remaining budget could have been used for public education “Retail Marijuana Education Support Fund.”
When Heretick introduced the bill, he stated that whether the politicians come to a realization or not, this is the opportunity for adults to freely decide for themselves if they want to consume marijuana in the privacy of their homes.
According to the sponsor of one of the second legalization bill, Del. Lee Carter, due to the lasting effect of drug convictions, the “most risky thing about marijuana is getting caught with it.”
When the bills were initiated in the House of Delegates, Jesse Scaccia of the cannabis advocacy group Virginia NORML declared that it was time for cannabis reform.
Scaccia said that there had been national and cultural brainwashing concerning cannabis, but the facts and the signals are evidence that it is very safe than say alcohol for our communities. She also said that the facts and the research favor them, it’s essential that there are ten states ahead of Virginia who has legalized adult use of marijuana.
The killing of the legalization and decriminalization bills comes at a time when Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam wanted to declare his decriminalization plans cannabis in his State of the State address.