Virginia lawmakers OK Northam’s changes to marijuana bill

The Democrat-controlled Virginia General Assembly voted Wednesday to accept Gov. Ralph Northam’s proposed changes to a marijuana legalization bill that will allow limited possession and cultivation of the drug beginning in July.

Northam sent the bill back to lawmakers substantially changed from the version they sent him February.

The amendments lawmakers agreed to Wednesday would accelerate the timeline of legalization by about three years, a move that’s been cheered by racial justice advocates. Northam’s amendments cleared the House 53-44 with two abstentions.

The Senate later voted 20-20 and Democratic Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax broke the tie, voting to approve them.

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