Virginia legislators have approved a measure legalizing the recreational use of marijuana and commercial sales in 2024, NPR reports.
The measure legalizes the use of marijuana and the possession of up to an ounce by people over the age of 21. Thirty percent of marijuana tax revenue — after program costs — will go to a Cannabis Equity Reinvestment Fund, which will be used to help communities that have been historically over-policed for marijuana crimes. The funds will go toward scholarships, workforce development and job placement services. Qualified cannabis businesses will be eligible for low- or no-interest loans.
Governor Ralph Northam is expected to sign the measure into law, the article notes.
Some groups that advocated for legalization have criticized the new measure. In a statement, the ACLU of Virginia said the bill “from the perspective of racial justice, is worse than the status quo. The bill creates new crimes that include permitting searches for having marijuana in a vehicle and possession under the age of 21. The bill also adds new pretexts like ‘transportation’ and offering or consuming marijuana in a public place, all of which will be enforced disproportionately against Black Virginians.”