(WFXR) — The General Assembly narrowly approved a fast-tracked timeline proposed by Gov. Ralph Northam Wednesday to legalize simple possession of marijuana and limited home growth three years sooner than initially planned.
Starting July 1, adults 21 and older can possess up to an ounce of marijuana in Virginia without worrying about a fine. Home growth will also be legal, with some restrictions.
While simple possession will soon become legal, recreational sales aren’t expected to start until 2024.
However, there are many concerns from law enforcement about this legislation, ranging from how it impacts police activity to how it affects safety on highways and roads.
In fact, the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police & Foundation issued the following statement ahead of the General Assembly session where the proposal was approved on Wednesday, April 7:
The Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police is STRONGLY OPPOSED to the Governor’s amendments to HB 2312 to legalize marijuana starting this July. It is reckless to think that the massive legislative changes can be put into effect in a matter of months without negative impacts on public safety and health.
We encourage the General Assembly to REJECT the Governor’s amendments and maintain a responsible approach to making this significant change in Virginia law.
Dana Schrad, executive director of the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police, joined WFXR News on Thursday, April 8 to discuss those concerns.