As marijuana legalization continues to make full strides throughout the U.S., there’s still a divide within the states that have taken those steps toward adult use. While there’s tons of support for marijuana legalization amongst Virginia voters, the state’s upcoming 2021 elections are showing the true partisan divide on the issue. Gov. Ralph Northam(D) signed a recreational use legalization bill into law last April which took effect last week on July, 1st.
Although the bill was broadly supported by many Virginians, GOP gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin and Republican attorney general contender Jason Miyares have been more than critical of the reform. Subsequently, their Democratic counterparts are seizing the moment. The party’s previous nominee Terry McAuliffe took to Twitter to say, “the vast majority of Virginians support legal cannabis, but extreme Republicans are determined to make it illegal again. Yet another example of how Glen Youngkin and the GOP are out of touch with Virginia.”
A spokesperson for the GOP gubernatorial nominee revealed to Virginia Mercury that he questioned the projections on legal cannabis sales, and if elected he would focus on preventing youth access. Child use can be deterred using technology such as childproof bags, however, it doesn’t seem like Glenn Youngkin cares.
State Attorney General Mark Herring blasted his opponent, Del. Jason Miyares in a similar fashion for voting against legalization this session.
He also took to Twitter to voice his anguish, writing, “My Republican opponent voted against marijuana legalization, even the simplest, most common-sense criminal justice reform. Not only do I support marijuana legalization, but I support expanding opportunities for record expungement.”