Virginia coalition opposes establishment of marijuana marketplace

Published: Feb. 3, 2022 at 6:50 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WDBJ) - As Virginia moves closer to establishing a legal marketplace for marijuana, a coalition is calling on lawmakers to hit the brakes.

Parents, substance abuse professionals and representatives of law enforcement say the commercialization of marijuana will endanger Virginians.

Thursday, they said they oppose any effort to create a regulatory framework for commercial sales.

Will Jones is Communications and Community Outreach Associate with the group Smart Approaches to Marijuana.

“We’ve seen and we’ve heard from experts in health, from doctors, of the impact that can have in health and safety,” Jones said during a virtual news conference. “In states that have legalized we have seen increases in things like car accidents from people driving high. Even in countries like Canada, they have seen doubling in accidents where people are driving high.”

Virginia legalized marijuana last year, and the current law allows retail sales to begin in 2024.

Legislation now under consideration would authorize marijuana sales as early as July 1 of this year.

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