Delegate Hala Ayala’s Statement on the Passage of the Governor’s Amendments to Marijuana Legalization

WOODBRIDGE, VA — Delegate Hala Ayala released the following statement after her vote to pass the Governor’s amendment to expedite marijuana legalization and provide additional funding for public health, education, and equity:

“As the mother to a Black son and a Black daughter, I know the visceral fear that our Black mothers have when our sons and daughters drive to work, or go for a walk around the block. My children are one of the main reasons that I fight for criminal justice reform, and legalization is a critical part of that fight,” said Delegate Hala Ayala. “Because of our work during the General Assembly session, we made strides and kept this bill alive, so that we could build bridges and strengthen this historic legislation through the Governor’s amendments. Over the past month, our House and Senate leadership have worked closely with Governor Northam to speed up the date of legalization to July 1st, expedite expungement for non-violent offenses, provide additional funding for public health, and further reinvest in our communities who have been disproportionately hurt from prohibition. Because of our work, this bill will legalize marijuana equitably while providing protections for public health and for workers. The passage of the Governor’s amendments is what good governance is about. I am grateful to Governor Northam, Majority Leader Charniele Herring, and Senators Louise Lucas and Adam Ebbin for their commitment to an equitable legalization, and I was proud to vote for passage of these amendments and the legislation.”