© 2024
Virginia's Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

The General Assembly backs controversial THC amendment

Mallory Noe-Payne
Radio IQ

Members of the General Assembly are considering amendments from the governor. And, they are giving a stamp of approval to some controversial changes to a bill about marijuana.

Earlier this year, members of the General Assembly sent the governor a bill designed to crack down on intoxicating products with THC. But Governor Glenn Youngkin added some amendments to make sure the bill did not outlaw some CBD products that help with epilepsy and other medical conditions.

Republican Senator Emmett Hanger of Augusta County says the governor's amendments make his bill better.

"All of these measures that were placed there were particularly for the children of concerned mothers, if you will, that wanted us to make sure that they could still have available these products for their children who have epilepsy," Hanger says.

Delegate Candi Mundon King is a Democrat from Prince William County who says she's a mother, and she worries about the availability of products with THC.

"These amendments are not just bad politics. It's bad for people. It's bad for mothers," she explains. "Even those mothers that y'all like. What do you call them? The Moms for Liberty? Even for them, this is bad for our children."

On the broader issue of legalizing marijuana, members of the General Assembly have yet to create a system for issuing licenses to sell a product that's now legal to possess but not to buy.

Legislators turn down internet amendment

Governor Glenn Youngkin is now facing a choice of what to do with an internet safety bill. Wednesday, members of the General Assembly rejected an amendment he suggested.

Earlier this year, members of the General Assembly sent the governor a bill requiring websites verify whether someone is 18 or older before they allow access to material intended for adults.

Legislators reject internet safety amendment
Michael Pope reports

Governor Glenn Youngkin added an amendment that created some provisions for data privacy similar to ones proposed by Republican Senator David Suetterlein of Roanoke County. "I don't think that we'd allow someone to follow you around the store, make notes of what you looked at and then start showing you advertisements for the things you looked at and then maybe a few weeks later do it again. I don't think that we should allow that to happen in the virtual world either," Suetterlein argued Wednesday.

Members of the General Assembly rejected the governor's amendment about data privacy.

Senator Chap Petersen is a Democrat from Fairfax City who says the whole effort is problematic. "I'm OK with data privacy, but that's basically a sideshow. The real issue is giving a cause of action against people based on what they put on the internet, and I can't support that."

Now that the General Assembly has rejected the governor's amendments on this bill, he's got a choice: Sign the bill that landed on his desk or forget about it and move on.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.

Michael Pope is an author and journalist who lives in Old Town Alexandria.