Virginia lawmakers agree to legalize marijuana, but not until 2024
Supported by the government of Ralph northam and supported by a Democratic majority in Richmond, Virginia became the 16th state to legalize adult recreational use of cannabis. The first state in the southern states and the 16th of all US states to approve legalization. Consumers will be allowed to own up to 28 grams and grow up to 4 plants at home. Trade and sales in the legal market will be taxed at least 25%. The approved law will not come into force until January 2024.
Virginia is only the third state to legalize marijuna through legislation (Illinois and Vermont are the others). On Election Day, voters voted for legalization in Arizona, Montana, in New Jersey and South Dakota. In South Dakota, the amendment was overturned by a circuit court judge. It is the subject of an appeal to the Supreme Court. So technically there is currently only 15 legal states, not 16.
Just a few years ago, the Commonwealth was a red state where a marijuana offense could land you in jail for years. But, in 2020, the legislature passed a decriminalization bill, which the governor signed off on.
Without wasting any time in 2021, the Senate and the House of Delegates, known as the General Assembly, moved forward with legalization bills, draft loi 1406 et HB 2312 of the Senate, which were adopted on February 5: 23-15 in the Senate and 55-42 in the House. On January 20, a Senate committee voted 4-3 to advance the legislation.
A compromise bill was passed by both chambers on February 27: 48-43 in the House and 20-19 in the Senate. No Republican voted to legalize marijuana. The law is now passed to the Northam government, which has promised to sign it.
Virginia set to be first southern state to legalize critics say bill violates racial justice
The committee focused on policies aimed at correct historical inequalities and racial injustice. The study, published in November, showed that from 2010 to 2019, the average arrest rate of blacks for possession of marijuana was 3,5 times the arrest rate of whites. The commission made specific recommendations for legalization with an emphasis on justice.
The Homegrow is licensed!
The article from HB 2312 reads as follows:
A person 21 years of age or older can grow up to four mature marijuana plants for their personal use at their place of residence; however, at no time should a household contain more than four mature marijuana plants. For the purposes of this section, a “household” refers to persons, whether related or not, who live in the same house or in another place of residence.
A person may only cultivate marijuana plants in accordance with this section at that person's principal place of residence. A person who grows marijuana for personal use in accordance with this section must:
- Ensure that marijuana is not visible from a public road without the use of aircraft, binoculars or other optical aids;
- Take reasonable precautions to prevent unauthorized access by persons under the age of 21; and
- Attach to each mature marijuana plant and immature marijuana plant a legible label that includes the person's name, driver's license or identification number, and a statement that the marijuana plant is grown for personal use such as 'authorized under this article.
C. A person should not make marijuana concentrate from home-grown marijuana. The owner of a property or parcel or parcel of land may not, intentionally or knowingly, allow another person to make marijuana concentrate from marijuana grown at home in or on this home. property or this land.
D. The following penalties or punishments will be imposed on any person found guilty of a violation of this section:
- 1. For possession of more than four marijuana plants but not more than 10 marijuana plants, (i) a civil fine of $ 250 for a first offense, (ii) a Class 3 offense for a second offense, and ( iii) a class 2 offense for a third and any subsequent offense
- 2. For possession of more than 10 but not more than 49 marijuana plants, a class 1 offense;
- 3. For possession of 49 to 100 marijuana plants, a class 6 felony and
- 4. For possession of more than 100 marijuana plants, a felony punishable by imprisonment for not less than one year and not more than 10 years and a fine of not more than $ 250, or of them.
In a compromise reached by Virginia lawmakers in a conference committee, lawmakers agreed to create an independent agency, the Cannabis Control Authority, to oversee a market for adults. This agency will meet this summer.