House of Delegates Subcommittee Recommends Postponing Marijuana Sales Legalization

A House of Delegates General Laws subcommittee voted five to three on Monday to recommend continue a key marijuana sales legalization bill until the 2023 session, effectively dooming the bill for now. Senate Bill 391 would create the regulatory structure for a legal marijuana industry in Virginia, including cultivation, manufacture, and sale. If the General Laws Committee follows the recommendation from the subcommittee, Virginia’s legal-to-own but not legal-to-buy recreational cannabis structure will remain in place for now.

Bill sponsor Senator Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria) told the delegates, “The action of this subcommittee, as we discussed, will establish a Virginia cannabis brand. The question is whether the brand will be a regulated, confined marketplace for adults, or for an import crime subsidization program proliferating in school yards and gas stations.”

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Virginia Abolishes Death Penalty

Virginia became the first state in the south to abolish the death penalty when Governor Ralph Northam announced Thursday that he signed twin death-penalty repeal bills introduced by Delegate Mike Mullin (D-Newport News) and Senator Scott Surovell (D-Fairfax). Virginia joins 22 other states that have also repealed the death penalty.

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General Assembly Votes to Make Virginia First Southern State to Abolish Death Penalty

The Virginia General Assembly passed a death penalty repeal on Monday. Governor Ralph Northam is expected to sign the bills, which would make Virginia the first state in the South to ban capital punishment. Advocates have argued that the death penalty is vulnerable to wrongful conviction, is expensive, cruel, and applied unfairly, but opponents say some of the most heinous crimes require a death penalty to make sure the criminal doesn’t get free. During the 2021 session, House Republicans have emphasized the names of victims of particularly serious crimes, who they say are being ignored by Democrats.

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