For aspiring tyrants like Ralph Northam, nothing sounds better than a population of defenseless lotus-eaters.
Virginia’s gun-grabbing governor became the latest Democratic leader to hop on the legalized pot bandwagon, signing a bill into law Wednesday to make marijuana possession legal in the commonwealth, The Hill reported.
Starting July 1, Virginia residents age 21 and older can legally possess up to an ounce of marijuana and grow up to four plants at home. It is still illegal to consume the drug publicly and distribute it.
Virginia is now the first southern state to legalize marijuana, the Associated Press notes.
“Immediate reform needed”
Democrats in the state House of Delegates initially worried that a rush to legalization would lead to a growth in the black market, as the state does not have a legal market in place and is not expected to until January 2024.
But Democrats later approved an amendment from Northam to move things up to this summer, with Northam and Dems both saying there is no time to wait in light of racial “equity” concerns with drug laws.
According to the AP, House Majority Leader Charniele Herring (D) said that the lack of a legal market is no reason to delay “immediate reforms that will make our Commonwealth more equitable for all Virginians.”
Democrats insist the bill will have no negative impacts on quality of life in the state.
“This is not going to generate some ganjafest at Jiffy Lube pavilion out in the parking lot, because that is smoking in public. Just like you can’t drink in public, you can’t smoke in public under this,” Democratic state Sen. Scott Surovell said, referring to a local concert venue.
Dems continue push for legalization
While often framed as a social justice issue, advocates also say marijuana legalization will drive up tax revenues, an attractive incentive for lockdown states strapped for cash. In a cunning PR move, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) recently diverted attention from personal scandals by legalizing pot in the Empire State.
Way down south, in Florida, the state Supreme Court dismissed a ballot initiative Thursday to legalize the drug.
Meanwhile, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is calling for Democrats to use their narrow control of Congress to legalize pot nationwide, as Fox Business notes. Given a relaxation of cultural attitudes and the rising provenance of “equity,” it seems likely that other states could soon follow.