Virginia governor indicators invoice legalising marijuana possession from July 1 By Reuters

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© Reuters. Virginia Governor Ralph Northam attends first girl Jill Biden’s go to to the Massey Most cancers Middle in Richmond, Virginia

(Reuters) – Virginia Governor Ralph Northam signed a invoice that legalises the easy possession of marijuana, making the state the primary within the U.S. south to permit the drug’s leisure use, the governor mentioned.

In a bid to deal with racial disparities within the prosecution of marijuana-related crimes, the state accelerated to July 1 its timetable to go the laws, relatively than ready till 2024.

“Seventy-one days from now, Virginia will now not police adults possessing small quantities of marijuana,” Northam mentioned at Wednesday’s ceremonial signing of the invoice.

Northam cited a report by the Joint Legislative Audit and Overview Fee that confirmed Black residents have been greater than 3 times as more likely to be arrested for possessing small quantities of the drug.

“We’re shifting ahead in a means that promotes fairness, offers a clear slate to these with prior convictions, and reinvests within the communities harmed by over-criminalization,” he mentioned on Twitter https://twitter.com/GovernorVA/standing/1384989019759644679.

The laws, signed a day after the casual April 20 pot vacation, often known as 4/20, permits anybody aged 21 or extra to own as much as one ounce (28.4 grams) of marijuana.

Folks within the state can domesticate as much as 4 hashish vegetation per house for private use.

NORML, a pro-marijuana group, celebrated the choice as an “extraordinary victory for hashish justice” within the state.

The timeline for the state to undertake provisions licensing industrial hashish manufacturing and gross sales is July 1, 2024.

On Monday, the U.S. Home of Representatives handed laws that lets banks present companies to hashish firms in states the place it’s authorized, a step in direction of levelling what analysts name a barrier to the event of a nationwide trade.

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