Virginia is close to becoming the first Southern state to get a tax revenue high as it moves to legalize recreational weed.
A bill passed Sunday in both the state’s House of Delegates and Senate is awaiting the signature of Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat.
Once signed, the Old Dominion would officially join 15 other states and the District of Columbia that have legalized marijuana for adult recreational use. Though under the Virginia bill, legal sales and possession would not take effect until 2024.
States from Wisconsin to Kansas — many cash-strapped amid the Covid pandemic — are calling for similar measures as they struggle to balance their budgets. Governors also cite racial justice as a reason to legalize marijuana, with Black and Latino men imprisoned at higher rates nationwide than their white counterparts for the same offenses.