Marijuana bill fails in House
A bill proposed by Del. David Englin, D-Alexandria, requesting Gov. Bob McDonnell to petition the federal Drug Enforcement Agency to allow the use of marijuana for legitimate medical reasons failed in the House Rules Committee Tuesday evening.
"Legalizing marijuana is probably not supported by 99 percent of the people here," said Del. Dave Albo, R-Springfield, who did not vote on the resolution. "Del. Englin is a self-described ultra-liberal, and that's the kind of stuff he believes in."
Englin's proposal cited studies showing "cannabis offers numerous health benefits for those suffering from multiple sclerosis, glaucoma, asthma, human immunodeficiency virus and other health disorders."
Englin has a second marijuana bill awaiting review in the House Rules Committee, which calls for a study of the potential sale of marijuana at more than 330 Alcoholic Beverage Control stores in Virginia as a means of generating revenue.
Legislators such as Albo, however, seem unlikely to support Englin's proposal.
"Selling [marijuana] at ABC stores is just a wacky idea," Albo said.
Albo said he would support a bill allowing someone to expunge his record years after a first offense of marijuana possession.
"There are some things you can do to keep people from having a permanent criminal record for smoking a joint," he said.
-compiled by Charlie Tyson