Virginia’s AG Now Supports Legalizing Recreational Marijuana

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By Jeff Raines, Linked Press

(AP) — Virginia Lawyer Common Mark Herring tweeted his help for the legalization of recreational marijuana in his state.

“Virginians know we can do far better. It is time to move toward legal, regulated adult use,” Herring mentioned in his retweet of a study that revealed a lot more than half of Virginians agree with him.

The study, published by the University of Mary Washington final month, showed that 61% of Virginians help legalization of recreational marijuana, though 34% oppose legalization. The remaining respondents mentioned they have been uncertain.

This is a noticeable uptick from a UMW study carried out in 2017 that showed 39% of Virginians supported legalizing marijuana for private use. The 2017 query was worded differently, asking if marijuana must be legalized in common, for private or health-related use, or stay illegal. A plurality mentioned health-related marijuana must be legal and the rest (17%) have been opposed to legalization.

Recreational use of marijuana is becoming an increasingly well-liked concern for Virginia politicians as they go into the November State Senate elections and the upcoming 2021 gubernatorial elections.

Stephen Farnsworth, a UMW political science professor, mentioned he believes legalization is many years away, but the timeline could adjust if a Democratic majority is elected in November. Eighty % of the Commonwealth’s youth (25 and beneath) are in favor of recreational marijuana, Farnsworth mentioned. “Winning the help of younger voters can be essential.”

Herring, a candidate in the 2021 gubernatorial elections, has lengthy voiced his help for decriminalization of marijuana.

Micheal Kelly, director of communications for Herring, mentioned in an e mail the lawyer common believes “Virginia demands to decriminalize possession of smaller amounts of marijuana, take action to address previous convictions, and a move towards legal and regulated adult use in Virginia.”

Just about all marijuana-associated arrests final year (90%) have been for possession alone, and arrests for marijuana possession have elevated 115% from 2003 to 2017, according to a press release from the lawyer general’s workplace. Very first time marijuana convictions in Virginia have risen 53% from 2008 to 2017, with enforcement charges estimated to be practically $81 million a year.

AP Photo/Richard Vogel

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