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Va. law enforcement associations urge General Assembly against marijuana retail sales

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) — Virginia law enforcement associations are urging the General Assembly to oppose retail sales of marijuana.

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In a letter to General Assembly members from the Virginia Sheriff’s Association, the Virginia State Police Association, the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police and the Virginia Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators, they said they strongly oppose a legalized retail marijuana market in Virginia.

“Legalizing retail sales will undermine the work Gov. [Glenn] Youngkin’s administration has undertaken to improve behavioral health in the Commonwealth,” the letter states. “We collectively appreciate the focus on the ‘Right Help Right Now Plan’ and the strides we have made in better serving our communities with additional behavioral-health resources.”

The letter states that “cannabis is more addictive than alcohol, and that “30% of cannabis users have cannabis use disorder, compared to 11% of alcohol users. It stated that 16.2 million people met the diagnostic criteria for cannabis use disorder, representing nearly 5% of Americans and 15% of young adults.

It went on to say that the facts supporting an argument for the legalization of cannabis “simply [does] not match reality.”

“States with legal retail cannabis have failed to extinguish the cannabis black market,” the letter states, “while also seeing that cannabis tourism creates a nexus for the international drug trade that is dominated by organized crime, and an increase in illegal operation following legalization.”


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