Youngkin Vetoes Recreational Marijuana Bill

( – Glenn Youngkin, Republican Governor of Virginia, recently announced his veto of bills regarding use of recreational marijuana in the state and the increase of Virginia’s minimum wage. His decision garnered some controversy from Democrats and opposition groups.

Youngkin’s vetoes were revealed on Thursday, March 28, alongside other actions on many different bills. The total number of bills he signed is 100. Out of those, he vetoed seven.

The bill regarding the minimum wage aimed to gradually increase minimum wage in Virginia to $15 by January 1, 2026. The increase was supposed to start immediately after the bill’s approval. Youngkin, however, decided to veto it. He cited concerns about inflation, potential harm to rural businesses, and decreased competitiveness with neighboring states.

Regarding the vetoed marijuana bills, Youngkin expressed his worries about the impact it would have on public health and safety. The proposed bills aimed to establish commercial standards and licensing requirements for the sale of cannabis products. These issues had not been settled yet, despite the legalization of recreational marijuana possession three years ago. A bill like this would essentially make marijuana available on a commercial level in shops and boutiques.

The Governor highlighted adverse effects seen in states that followed a similar path regarding marijuana, including increased crime, health risks, and challenges in getting rid of the illegal black market. He recommended a more cautious approach, which would be to reassess and perhaps put forward a bill with less inconsistencies.

The other vetoed bills also supposedly had issues related to farmer’s wages, hearings for felony marijuana charges, and claims for worker’s comp. As Youngkin navigates through a significant number of bills sent to him by the General Assembly of the state, his total vetoes for the year already stand at 87.

Among the bills which he ended up approving were those addressing unemployment compensation, public notice requirements for local government meetings, and amendments to the state’s Drug Control Act.

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