WOODBRIDGE, VA — Delegate Hala Ayala released the following statement on Governor Northam signing marijuana legalization into law this afternoon:
“Today Virginia officially became the first state in the South to legalize marijuana. Yet again, our Commonwealth is leading the way to break down the legacy of Jim Crow and systematic racism. I am the mother to 2 Black children, and my greatest fear is that when they drive to work or walk around the block that they will not return home. Yesterday we were once again reminded of this painful reality with the verdict in the murder of George Floyd. We have a great deal of work to do to heal generations of trauma and begin to create an equitable justice system.
My children are one of the main reasons that I have fought for justice reform in the House alongside my fellow Black Caucus members and why I will continue to build on this progress as Lieutenant Governor. Marijuana legalization is a critical step in this fight. I was proud to vote for this legislation in the House, and I am grateful to Governor Ralph Northam, Majority Leader Charniele Herring, and Senators Louise Lucas and Adam Ebbin for their leadership as Virginia equitably legalizes marijuana today.”