Editorial: A Marijuana Opportunity | Editorial
Other key Republicans have been instrumental in setting the table for substantial reform. As early as 2016, Senatorial Minority Leader Thomas K. “Tommy” Norment Jr. of James City County expressed his support for decriminalization. It was a clear and sure sign that things were about to change.
So there is a precedent for Republicans in Virginia supporting marijuana reform. And it looks like marijuana could be an area where Republicans (in the most senior positions in state and the majority in the House) can work with Democrats (who hold a majority in the Senate) to shorten the timeframe for legalization. .
Indeed, it is imperative that they do.
The current law is a problem for more than recreational users. It’s also a problem for the justice system, and it would be better for the state to get into recreational sales as quickly as possible rather than continuing to live half in, half out.
“You almost have to somehow [accelerate the timeline]Del. Glenn Davis, R-Virginia Beach, told The Mercury. “I guess we’re kind of half pregnant.”
It’s not easy to build a fair, equitable and regulated legal market for a drug that is still federally listed as a Schedule 1 narcotic. A 2020 Joint Commission report he audit and legislative review described the hurdles that legislators must overcome, including setting parameters for possession and use; establish guidelines for home cultivation; and give the regulatory power to a government body, the Cannabis Control Authority, which is to be built from the ground up.