Members of the House of Delegates expect it to pass.
In the Senate, they give it “slightly better than 50-50 odds.”
And Gov. Ralph Northam’s office says he’s “certainly open to it.”
Proposals to legalize recreational marijuana in Virginia are set to get their first serious hearings when the General Assembly convenes in January and, at least for now, it looks like there’s a decent chance they could succeed.
“It’s high time we actually make this change and I think other people have seen that as well,” said Del. Mike Mullin, D-Newport News, who chairs the House’s criminal law subcommittee and says he believes there are enough votes in the chamber to end prohibition of the drug. “I can tell you I think it will pass.”
The movement in Virginia comes after voters in four states overwhelmingly approved referendums legalizing marijuana, bringing the total nationwide total to 15. If lawmakers in Virginia move forward, the state would become the first in the South to authorize recreational use of the drug.
Virginia has been slowly loosening its stance on marijuana for years, first allowing medical use of CBD in 2017, expanding that to a full-fledged medical marijuana program by 2019 and, earlier this year, passing legislation that reduced the penalty for people caught with small amounts of the drug to a $25 civil fine. [Read more at Inside Nova]