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Virginia lawmakers OK marijuana possession starting July 1

April 8, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 45.6%. 1 min read.

The Virginia General Assembly on Wednesday passed a bill legalizing simple possession of marijuana, becoming the latest state to modify its laws around cannabis use and possession that disproportionately jailed Black people for nonviolent offenses.

(CNN)The Virginia General Assembly on Wednesday passed a bill legalizing simple possession of marijuana, becoming the latest state to modify its laws around cannabis use and possession that disproportionately jailed Black people for nonviolent offenses.

The new law, which goes into effect July 1, allows anyone in the state 21 or older to possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana.

"I was proud to cast the tie-breaking vote to legalize marijuana and bring long overdue justice, fairness, equity and opportunity to the people of our great Commonwealth. "

Today, Virginia took a critical step to right these wrongs and restore justice to those harmed by decades of over-criminalization. "

And I understand that taking the time to do this right might possibly even lead to charges of racism," he said.

Legalization advocates have long touted the righting of past criminal justice wrongs, eliminating illegal market activity and generating additional tax revenue when they've pushed for overhauling state cannabis laws.

"At the end of the day, economics talk and jobs talk," Jessica Billingsley, chief executive officer of Akerna, which makes regulatory compliance software that helps states track cannabis sales from seed to sale, previously told CNN.

Cannabis sales in states that have legalized the plant for medical and recreational purposes totaled about $15 billion in 2019, and are expected to top $30 billion by 2024, according to data from BDS Analytics, which tracks dispensary sales.

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