Gov. Northam considers speeding up legalization of marijuana in Virginia

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RICHMOND — Lawmakers are working with Gov. Ralph Northam’s office to consider speeding up the legalization of marijuana by years, possibly making possession legal as soon as July 1 instead of the Jan. 1, 2024, date the General Assembly approved last month.

Almost no one was happy with the 250-page marijuana legalization measure that limped out of the Senate and House of Delegates as the General Assembly wrapped up its session on Feb. 27.

In addition to delaying legalization until 2024, the bill also requires significant components of the comprehensive package to be reenacted by the legislature next year. Many advocates — and some Democratic lawmakers — complained that the delays had all but gutted the bill.

Attention immediately shifted to Northam (D), who has until the end of March to sign, veto or amend the legislation. His advisers have already met once with lawmakers and their staffs to look at possible changes, and more meetings are set for next week.The General Assembly will reconvene for one day on April 7 to consider Northam’s actions on that or any other bills. Whatever the governor comes up with will have to win a majority of votes in the House and Senate to be enacted. [Read More @ The Washington Post]

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