The first southern US state to legalize use marijuana for recreational purposes, in small quantities, became Virginia.
The Senate and House of Representatives today voted in favor of legalizing adult marijuana possession from July 1, despite strong opposition from Republican lawmakers.
Its Democratic senator VirginiaRalph Northham said his state “made history as it became the first in the south to legalize simple marijuana possession,” according to AMPE.
“Marijuana legislation was clearly designed to target people of color, “Blacks in Virginia are disproportionately more likely to be arrested, charged and convicted,” Northham said.
“Today, Virginia has taken an important step toward rectifying these failures and restoring justice to those who have been wronged for years.”
Many US states, such as New York and Colorado, have taken similar action, but Virginia is a pioneer for the southern states, which are traditionally more conservative.
Under the new legislation, adults over the age of 21 will be able to legally possess up to 28 grams of marijuana for personal use and grow four plants per household. However, the use of marijuana in public will not be allowed.
Licenses for the production and sale of marijuana will be issued after July 1, 2024.