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UPDATE: Marijauna Legalization was defeated on a 6-2 vote in subcommittee. CLICK HERE to see the vote.

“I am proud today to offer for the first-time legislation to legalize marijuana for consumption by adults 21 years of age in the state of Virginia,” said Delegate Steve Heretick. Delegate Heretick, a Democrat who represents parts of Norfolk and Portsmouth, has been an advocate for marijuana reform since taking office in 2016. House Bill 2371 would legalize marijuana for purchase and consumption by adults 21 years of age for medical or recreational purposes.

"The time has come for adults to have the freedom to decide for themselves whether or not to consume marijuana in the privacy of their homes," said Delegate Heretick.

“We have been working diligently since July 2018 with the Division of Legislative Services to study the models in other states that have moved forward with legalization. After many drafts and re-drafts, we have settled on a final bill that considers all the ramifications this would have and adjusts for the problems other states have encountered. This is a good product that is a result of many months of careful consideration that included consultation with prosecutors and law enforcement across the state,” said Delegate Heretick.

The bill would set up a regulatory framework that would allow for the cultivation, manufacturing, and distribution of marijuana and its products throughout the Commonwealth to adults 21 years of age or older. It would allow the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to issue licenses for cultivation and retail distribution of marijuana as well as provide for limited home cultivation for personal use.

Delegate Heretick also has introduced an alternative bill to decriminalize marijuana (HB2079) as he has done every session since being elected in 2015. That bill would get rid of criminal penalties for simple possession of marijuana and replace it with a small civil fine. Last session the House Courts of Justice Criminal Law Subcommittee killed Heretick’s bill on a 7-1 vote.


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