"I don’t think we should assume the opposition is just going to let this go through without challenges, but I’m still pretty confident that we’re going to make it," Jared Moffat, MPP's campaigns coordinator, told Cannabis Wire.
“I’ve really never seen this kind of grassroots mobilization,” Jared Moffat, campaigns coordinator for MPP, said of the drive during the last couple of weeks from a largely volunteer team. It would have been much less challenging to qualify without COVID, Moffat said, “because there is a lot of support for this.”
“As the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus has recognized, full legalization is needed,” said Steve Hawkins, executive director of MPP. “While decriminalization is long overdue, legalization is necessary to dramatically reduce police-civilian interactions and remove the pretext for countless police stops.”
“Among other criminal justice changes, SB 3 would reduce the sentences for several marijuana offenses, including by doubling the amount of marijuana that is decriminalized,” Karen O’Keefe, the Marijuana Policy Project’s director of state policies, told Marijuana Moment.
“Twenty-seven states have now decriminalized cannabis, and Virginia’s decriminalization law is the strongest among them. Once the law is in effect, it will prevent Virginians from being criminalized and having their lives derailed for simple cannabis possession,” Olivia Naugle, a legislative analyst for MPP, said.
"I expect a record number of states to legalize marijuana in 2021, in part due to the financial pressures, along with the racial injustice imperative to reduce unnecessary police-civilian interactions," said Karen O'Keefe, director of state policies for the Marijuana Policy Project, the lobbying organization behind many state cannabis policies in place today.
“Idaho medical marijuana advocates are exploring their options with the goal of still qualifying for the November 2020 ballot,” Matthew Schweich, deputy director of the Marijuana Policy Project, told Marijuana Moment. “If Idaho enacts medical marijuana this November it would be by a wide margin, because we know the support is very strong among Idaho voters. It would further increase pressure on Congress to address the unsustainable conflict between state and federal law, and Sen. Crapo would have added reason to address this issue.”
“New Jersey is being really progressive in starting this conversation,” DeVaughn Ward of the Marijuana Policy Project, told NJ Cannabis Insider. “At two ounces, it would still be progress for the region. The reality is that for every increase [it] is another life that could potentially be saved; somebody that could not be forced to encounter law enforcement.”