Gov. Ralph Northam mentioned Monday he plans to suggest laws legalizing marijuana when the General Assembly convenes in January, setting the state on a path to turn out to be the primary in the South to enable leisure use of the drug.

“We are going to move forward with legalizing marijuana in Virginia,” Northam mentioned. “I support that and am committed to doing it the right way.”

Northam, a doctor who says he’s by no means used the drug, cautioned “it’s not going to happen overnight,” saying he envisions an 18 to 24 month timetable for the state to set up and regulate the brand new market.

His administration has been finding out the difficulty and lots of particulars stay unresolved, however Northam mentioned he intends to emphasize public well being protections and social fairness points because the state strikes forward.

“Marijuana laws have been based originally in discrimination and undoing these harms means things like social equity licenses, access to capital, community reinvestment and sealing or expunging people’s prior records,” he mentioned.

Lawmakers in the House of Delegates say a legalization invoice would probably move the chamber. In the Senate, Majority Leader Dick Saslaw said last week he gave it “slightly better than 50-50” odds. [Read more at Virginia Mercury]

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