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Virginia Gov. Announces Support for Legalizing Marijuana

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam speaks during a news conference at the Governori’s Mansion in Richmond, Va., February 2, 2019. (Jay Paul/Reuters)

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam on Monday announced his support for legalizing marijuana for recreational use in Virginia, suggesting the state could become the first in the south to do so.

“Legalizing marijuana will happen in Virginia,” Northam said in a news briefing in which he announced that he would propose legislation during next year’s legislative session, a process that could take up to two years.

The Democrat’s announcement comes after the release of a study that found Virginia could bring in $300 million in taxes from the sale of the marijuana.

Northam said he wants a responsible approach that promotes racial equity and preserves youth safety.

“We are going to move forward with the legalization of marijuana in Virginia. I support this, and I’m committed to doing it the right way,” Northam said.

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