Virginia on Wednesday turned the primary southern US state to approve using small quantities of marijuana for private use.

The state Senate and House of Delegates voted to permit adults to own marijuana as of July 1, in a measure authorized regardless of fierce opposition by Republican lawmakers.

Democratic Governor Ralph Northam in a press release stated his state had “made history as the first state in the South to legalize the simple possession of marijuana.”

“Marijuana laws were explicitly designed to target communities of color, and Black Virginians are disproportionately likely to be stopped, charged, and convicted,” he stated.

“Today, Virginia took a critical step to right these wrongs and restore justice to those harmed by decades of over-criminalization.”

Several different US states, together with New York and Colorado, have authorized related measures, however Virginia is the primary to take action within the socially and politically conservative US south.

A measure authorized by the state in February would have seen the state legalize pot by 2024, however Northam requested lawmakers to maneuver that date ahead in a bid to maintain common customers out of bother.

Adults over the age of 21 will have the ability to legally possess as much as one ounce (28.three grams) of hashish for private use, in addition to domesticate as much as 4 vegetation per family.

Like limits on consuming in public, consuming hashish in public won’t be allowed.

The licensing of hashish manufacturing and industrial hashish gross sales won’t happen till July 1, 2024.

“Legalization will bring an end to the thousands of low-level marijuana infractions occurring annually… ending a discriminatory practice that far too often targets Virginians who are young, poor, and people of color,” stated Jenn Michelle Pedini with NORML, a nationwide group lobbying for pot legalization.

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