Governor Shuts Door on Retail Marijuana Market – ‘Winning States Are Not Doing This’

Governor Shuts Door on Retail Marijuana Market – ‘Winning States Are Not Doing This’

While other states are becoming more open to the prospect of legalizing the sale of marijuana within their borders, Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin made it crystal clear that Virginia was not going to be one of those.

On Thursday, the Old Dominion official vetoed a bill that would have created a legal market for the recreational drug, according to The Hill.

The bills, House Bill 698 and Senate Bill 448, had already been passed by both chambers of the state legislature and were awaiting signature from the governor.

Youngkin said he decided to veto the bills because creating a marijuana market ultimately “endangers Virginians’ health and safety,” according to a statement on the governor’s website.

“States following this path have seen adverse effects on children’s and adolescent’s health and safety, increased gang activity and violent crime, significant deterioration in mental health, decreased road safety, and significant costs associated with retail marijuana that far exceed tax revenue,” he argued.

The governor also noted that creating a legal market would “not eliminate the illegal black-market sale of cannabis, nor guarantee product safety,” something many advocates for its legalization argue.

“Marijuana carries the same dangers as other drugs; the Commonwealth recognized this when it created a medical marijuana system,” his statement added. “Opioids and other controlled substances are highly regulated and require the consultation of a medical provider to mitigate their negative consequences.”

“Even with those protections in place, these drugs have had perverse and dangerous consequences for Virginians. The same is true for marijuana.”

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To Youngkin, attempting to create a safe market for marijuana usage is a Sisyphean task.

“Attempting to rectify the error of decriminalizing marijuana by establishing a safe and regulated marketplace is an unachievable goal,” he said.

The Old Dominion governor also spoke with D.C. reporter Nick Minock, telling him, “Cannabis is bad for Virginia.”

“The overall cost through the system in order to address the social requirements of this retail market far outweigh the tax receipts,” he said, hitting another point that pro-legalization advocates make.

He alluded to a 2018 Colorado Christian University report that found the state was spending $4.50 combating the negative effects of legalization for every dollar it earns in taxes.

Throughout all of his discussion, it became clear is that Youngkin did not come to his veto decision simply because he isn’t a fan of the drug.

He weighed all possible positives and negatives that would affect Virginians and decided based on what was best for them.

A public official’s responsibility is to do what’s best for their constituents, and the Old Dominion governor did just that.


This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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