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Should Marijuana Be Sold At Virginia ABC Stores?

by Katie Pyzyk — January 19, 2012 at 1:30 pm 13,028 142 Comments

Feel like picking up a little pot with your booze purchase? Delegate David Englin (D) has introduced a bill to examine if that should become a possibility.

As first reported by the Sun Gazette, Del. Englin has called for a study to analyze whether Virginia ABC stores should sell marijuana. Englin wants a report on the potential revenue the state could gain by such sales.

He points out that the sale and use of distilled spirits, at one time considered controversial substances, has been kept in check by the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

Part of the legislation reads: “As society changes, products that were deemed illegal at one time are made legal and even sold by stores that are operated by government agencies in the attempt to control the sale of the products.”

The sales of distilled spirits have generated millions of dollars that go toward Virginia’s government programs. Englin says the same might be possible with the sale of marijuana. He adds that other states are also looking into the controlled sale of the drug.

If approved, the subcommittee devised to perform the study would meet up to six times before November 30, and could not spend more than $15,040 on the study, without special approval for additional funding. Findings would be submitted by the first day of the 2013 Regular Session of the General Assembly.

Englin has also proposed a resolution to request that Virginia’s governor petition the Drug Enforcement Administration to reclassify marijuana as a Schedule II narcotic, the same as prescription pain medications like oxycodone. Currenty, pot is classified as a Schedule I narcotic, on the same level as heroin and LSD. Englin’s resolution notes that the governors of Rhode Island and Washington state have filed similar petitions with the DEA in recent months.

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  • Frivolous

    Yes. Tax income, less access to those under 21.

  • Rick

    Are we not selling the ABC store business? Just like gambling, I go out of state with my money.

    • brendan

      you go out of state to buy pot…?

      • Rick

        Just booze and black chips. I stick to two vices.

        • Richard Cranium

          Underachiever.

      • Tom

        Yep….good bud is extremely overpriced in northern VA. Maryland FTW

    • DK

      Actually, they are not selling the ABC stores. And it’s a good thig they didn’t They just recorded a record annual profit of $121 million for 2011. We drink a lot in this state. Probably has to do with who our state leaders are!

      • Drinker

        They recorded an annual profit because they charge $70 for a bottle of scotch that sells for $45 in the district. Have you done a price comparison? We in Northern Virginia have choices. But people who don’t live near the border are being price gouged by the state.

  • Bluemontsince1961

    Interesting idea. Cooch will never let it happen.

    • Cooch

      Actually, I’m all for it. It will make it easier to identify the folks that participate in this, follow them home, collect the rest of their family and deport them to DC where they belong.

    • Steamboat Willie

      Really? I assumed Cooch is baked most of the time in light of most of the stuff he says.

      • Steve

        I assume he’s smoking much harder stuff than pot, with some of the stuff he says. My guess would be a combination of crystal meth and PCP.

  • brendan

    not opposed to doing a study… but pretty stupid idea if you ask me.

    • Jack

      why would it be a stupid idea? It would be under the states control and would generate a lot of money. Safer than being on the streets.

      • Burger

        The entire thing is stupid. It is stupid to fund a study because this policy isn’t going anywhere. The states with the least restricted access to weed – is California, Colorado, DC is somewhere…notice anything about those states. Lots a hippies. You know what Virginia doesn’t have – lots of hippies. See.

        • Roycroft

          Yes, the chances are small this will not go through. That said I do believe it is time governments started having real dialog about this subject. You would be surprised to learn that there are a lot more people besides “Hippies” who use marijuana. Instead of making this such a taboo subject lets hope at some point enough people get beyond there hangups and let the state begin to regulate and make money off it.

          • Lou

            Hope’s tobacco tax bill has a better chance of passing than this does.

          • Roycroft

            *edit

            I meant to say the chances are small this “will” go through.

          • http://www.drugwarrant.com/articles/why-is-marijuana-illegal/ Robert Nesta Marley

            Yes – the Virginia General Assembly will bury their heads in the sand on this. I don’t know any hippies who smoke pot. All the pot smokers I know have short hair, advanced degrees and six figure incomes.

        • OX4

          Here’s another interesting stat….DC and Colorado have the lowest obesity rates in the country, and California is one of the lowest. Therefore, only healthy people smoke pot. Or, smoking pot makes you healthy. Or, as I like to conclude, Virginians are fat and backwards thinking.

        • DP

          You haven’t been Richmond/VCU area? Old hippies, everywhere.

    • jack

      Why? (I mean, beyond the hurdles to getting it legalized.) There’s certainly money to be made, for the government and the companies willing to go into production (RJR Reynolds, biotech giant Monsanto).

      • jack-a-roe

        Okay, time to change my handle to avoid confusion…

    • http://www.drugwarrant.com/articles/why-is-marijuana-illegal/ Robert Nesta Marley

      Caging people for growing cannabis flowers is a stupid idea. Taxing and regulating a widely used substance that is currently easier for kids to purchase than beer is a great idea. I am assuming you have not smoked a lot of pot in your lifetime. It’s not the evil weed career drug warriors make it out to be. Without a doubt it is safer than alcohol. As for tobacco, note that President Obama gave up marijuana years ago but struggles with tobacco addiction to this day.

  • Why.

    You mean you can’t already?

    I thought the County already initiated this as part of the Columbia Pike housing study and street car funding mechanism.

  • Eric

    Yes

  • Swag

    Complete waste of time and money.

    • Lou

      But it makes paying video games so much more fun. You take the good with the bad.

    • xiann

      Tell that to cancer patients.

      • Richard Cranium

        What – they don’t like video games?

  • j

    sell cupcakes as well.

    • Louise

      ha ha ha.

    • b0rk

      7-11 & ABC co-markets coming soon.

  • Wiz

    Excellent idea.

  • novasteve

    Do liberals deliberately try to make themselves look kooky?

    • drax

      You are exactly the right guy to ask that question, steve.

  • novasteve

    Even if pot were legalized, which it won’t be (let’s not forget Dear Leader opposes that) people will still use the blackmarket to avoid the taxes that WILL be on it. You can grow it at your home, why on earth would you pay up the wazoo in taxes? It’s like how Marylanders flock to VA to buy smokes to avoid the high MD cigarette taxes, and you don’t need to grow that much pot unlike tobacco, so don’t try that argument. People who think legalizing drugs will get rid of the black market for them are either fools or liars, because the temptation to tax drugs will be irresistable to the government.

    • Frivolous

      Convenience. It is expensive and time consuming to grow pot indoors. Alcohol is a great example, you can make it on your own at home, but it won’t be as good, cheap or easy as going and buying a name brand at the store.

      • novasteve

        You’ve OBVIOUSLY never done home brew. It’s probably a pain to distill at home since home stills are ILLEGAL, but people do it, and that’s why you have terms like moonshine, and you hear about it in the news. You can make wine at home too. I make mead at home, it’s good and has a pretty high level of alcohol.

        You cannot compare making alcohol anymores to growing a PLANT. Growing plants isn’t that hard to do, and honestly neither is brewing beer. And what I brew tastes vastly better than virtually anything you can buy in the store.

        Each pot plant grows a LOT of pot. Could last you a really long time depending on how big of a pothead you are. Just ONE plant.

        • Southeast Jerome

          Steve- Are you sure those arent wacky Ciggerettes you smoke on? You seem like an expert on this.

          • Josh S

            Judging from the post, I’d say he may have been sampling the local crop very recently….

        • LongJohnSilver

          You know nothing about growing weed. It takes a long time for the plants to grow and bud to cure. Plus, it is difficult and expensive to grow a quality product. I think the comparison is very just. People will grow their own weed as they do now, however the government will stand to make a lot of money off of taxing it just like alcohol. Do not see any progress being made towards legalization even if the study does come back showing that there is money to be made, however, a step in the right direction.

      • DarkHeart

        You should only be allowed to grow your own if you fertilize it with your backyard chicken “mulch”.

    • Fact checker

      So you brew all your own beer, grow your own grapes, and distill your own spirits to beat out the liquor tax? You obviously also produce your own food (so easy to grow at home) and sew your own clothes (from all teh cotton you grow as well) to avoid markup and sales tax. And surely you do all your own car repairs as well.

      Have you seen how much money people spend in this town on eating out, take out, prepared meals at at least triple the cost of preparing their own food?

      Your argument doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.

      • novasteve

        What you describe is completely different than growing a easy to grow plant that you don’t need much of, just one plant, unless you plan on distributing. You don’t need 80 plants. One plant could get one person high many many times.

        The government will also have VERY high taxes on pot if it were ever legal. Much higher than they do on things that are legal now that they tax a lot.

        • Southeast Jerome

          Steve- Even if the govt taxed Marijuana at 400%, it would still be cheaper than the “going rate” today in the market.

        • AL

          Steve — have you ever tried to grow weed? I haven’t but I have friends that have. It isn’t easy or economical. The cost of just the lights and temperature control system for a few plants is hundreds of dollars. Add to the fact that yes, one plant can get you high several times, but this doesn’t grow, as you might think, like grass. It takes a long time for the buds to produce and then to dry them out and extract the THC. That’s like saying you only need a few potato plants for the vodka you want to distill since it can get you drink more than once.

          • novasteve

            Really poor analogy with vodka. You can directly smoke the stuff growing on the plant, it may have to dry for a little bit, but you don’t have to start a fermentation process that takes a while, then a distillation process. If potatoes in the earth were already alcoholic then you would have a point. You don’t.

          • Jeff

            Umm marijuana is really not difficult to grow outdoors… its called WEED for a reason, its really hardy, grows with ease outside and can be finish growing in 2-3 1/2 months. Indoor growing is expensive because your trying to make an area inside your house have the same climate & “sunlight” as the outdoors. Alcohol is created through fermintation which takes months to years to produce with the desired taste and proof, and when it is done it doesn’t provide you with more seeds to make more alcohol. Also you can overdose on alcohol, easily. Never in recorded history has anyone ever overdosed on weed because it’s literally impossible. You would pass out from lack of oxygen before you could even get that high. I honestly dont see ANY reason for marijuana to be illegal. I’m not some old hippy, actually im quite young and did research on marijuana as a school project almost a year before I ever tried it. Watch this video you will be un-ignoranted. : ) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSKJrgGqx_E

      • Marc

        I’m pretty sure his clothes are made from hemp not cotton.

    • phil

      so you buy all your smokes on the black market? how does that work?

      • novasteve

        VA’s tobacco tax isn’t high enough to really support a black market, but there are plenty of people in the state who home grow their own tobacco. People from MD and DC flock to VA to buy cigarettes here because of the lower taxes despite it being illegal in MD to bring them back into MD. BLACK MARKET.

        The taxes on pot will be way higher given how used people are to paying high prices for pot. Instead of paying a premium for an illegal product, they will just pay that money in taxes. Then they’ll realize they should and can avoid it by just going back to the old way, or growing themselves.

        • Josh S

          I’m not sure you’ve ever pointed out why any of this is a problem. If some people choose to grow at home, how is that an argument against legalization?

          Based on the recent news about freaking Burger King offering home delivery services, I think we can rest quite assured that there will be a large number of customers who will prefer the convenience of buying their dope over growing it.

        • xiann

          I have never met anyone who grows their own tobacco in Virginia, and it’s legal. It’s hardly a popular occupation. Some people will grow their own pot, and why shouldn’t they? Most people won’t.

        • bbb

          You are forgetting the people that dont buy it simply because it is illegal. Lots of people would buy if it were legal that currently do not. Also the risk they currently deal with might not be worth the savings, and it would increase the quality of the product available in the area.

          The biggest problem with state controlled stores is that like ABC, there isn’t any competition, sans going out of state, therefore the prices wouldn’t end up lowering like they have in CA and CO. If the stores were owned privately you could create competition to get the prices down to that of street prices while including the associated tax.

          The other concern is who would grow it? If its a state owned store would the state grow it? If private then the state can still have artificially inflated prices like the ABC stores. Either way private or publicly grown, how would the federal government look at it and how quickly would it all be shut down?

    • ballscrossingurface

      When I smoked and was out of cigarettes in MD, I never hopped on the Metro and went back to VA to buy a pack. I just went over to CVS.

    • drax

      How many people buy bootleg booze on the street to avoid taxes, steve?

    • http://www.exactcom.com.au/proofs/KombiPics/Wrecks/bayBushOvergrown.jpg Overgrown Bush

      Well, IF it were ever legalized, there likely will still be a limit on how much you can possess without there being an intent to distribute law kicking in. Growing your own may very well be too much to consider personal use, thus you would be breaking the law.

      There are similar type alcohol laws as well.

      • bbb

        most states with grow your own laws in place for medicinal purposes have a 3-5 plant maximum.

    • xiann

      Whatever, there are tons of people who would legally buy pot instead of risking jail time.

      • xiann

        Also, how many things do you buy on the black market? Alcohol? Cigarettes? A lot of people don’t even pirate movies or MP3s anymore because they can watch them on Netflix or buy them on iTunes. The black market is a pain in the ass. If it’s convenient to do things legally, people will do them legally whether it costs more money or not.

        Also, how many cigarette smokers grow their own tobacco? How many drinkers make their own alcohol? Not very many. It’s not like avoiding taxes is suddenly going to make a ton of people into enterprising pot farmers.

    • http://www.drugwarrant.com/articles/why-is-marijuana-illegal/ Robert Nesta Marley

      Wrong. How many tobacco smokers do you know that grow their own tobacco? You know, to avoid taxes. Pot costs between $100 – $400 an ounce. A pack of tobacco weighs slightly less than an ounce. Would you pay $400 for an ear of corn smuggled across the border? Legitimate farmers would put the cartels out of business overnight. There is a reason farmers don’t grow produce in suburban basements under high intensity discharge lamps and Mexican drug cartels don’t sneak into national forests to grow lettuce. Marijuana prohibition creates artificial price supports that subsidize organized crime. If legal, marijuana would be virtually worthless.

    • jrs

      Are there a lot of people who make their own liquor? NO.. the different flavors and qualities will keep everyone purchasing. Does everyone grow their own flowers for bouquets as gifts? NO
      Do everyone make their own wine? NO
      This will generate income!

    • VAboy757

      if its sold in stores it will be the highest grade of marijuana, tha black market drug dealer and his closet plant dont stand a chace aginst a professional who not only grows marijuana for a living but haz also went to school for growing it. ill pay tha extra bucks for an 6 to 8 hour high

  • bobco85

    I wouldn’t expect Virginia to serve as a prototype for any sort of nation-wide legalization of marijuana, but I think it would be better for society as a whole to move the drug from criminals to businesses (insert joke about the two being the same). Just look at the legalization of absinthe, which was long thought to be worse than other types of alcohol.

    • novasteve

      If you think they won’t pursue people who continue to grow pot to avoid paying the taxes, which will involve law enforcement, in fact, they would probably pursue this harder than for just illegal drugs because the government would be losing revenues…

      There will still be a black market, probably bigger because people will think “this will be a lot cheaper if I didn’ thave to pay taxes on it, I can grow it at home” “I can still sell it to someone else who doesn’t want to grow it for less than what they would pay for at the pot store”.

      So long as there are taxes, there will be a black market.

      • Josh S

        Just keep repeating that, Steve-o. Maybe eventually you’ll have a point.

    • Wendy

      Actually, they took the wormwood out of the absinthe they sell here. That’s why it is legal.

  • Abe Froman

    Holy krap yes, tax the living daylights out of it.

  • novasteve

    When will the first pot cupcake place open up? Pot frozen yogurt? The pot burger?

    • Cooch

      Those are so last year. It should be Pot Cross-Fit.

      Maybe ABC could team together with Burger King to do home delivery. “Here you go, sir – a bag of Bluemont Bomb, two double whoppers with cheese, extra mayo and a large order of onion rings.”

    • OMG OMG OMG

      If you have to ask, you don’t deserve to know where they are.

  • http://www.arlnow.com Lauren

    wow – unreal. That’s what we need – drunk and drugged up people. Good job Mr. Glad I didn’t vote for you.

    • Jack

      clearly you don’t know anything about marijuana

      • bbb

        Like the fact that the plant is actually called cannabis and not marijuana

    • drax

      So you want to ban all sales of alcohol in Virginia, Lauren?

      • George Boole

        AND. It makes all the difference.

        Drunk = OK
        Drunk AND Drugged = not OK.

        • http://www.exactcom.com.au/proofs/KombiPics/Wrecks/bayBushOvergrown.jpg Overgrown Bush

          DUI and other laws already on the books cover being under the influence of substances other than alcohol. I doubt much of that would change.

        • VAboy757

          when was being drunk ok, i rather be high then drunk, if i smoke too much ill just fall asleep, if i drink too much i could die… id rather smoke

          • bbb

            *I’d rather be high than drunk

            IFTFY

    • http://www.drugwarrant.com/articles/why-is-marijuana-illegal/ Robert Nesta Marley

      Fact: traffic fatalities have gone down in states with liberal medical marijuana access as adults substitute alcohol for less harmful marijuana.

      That’s kind of irrelevant though. Anyone who wants to smoke pot is already smoking it. The law is a joke and fails miserably as a deterrent. The question is who should profit from sales. The state? Or Mexican drug cartels?

      http://ftp.iza.org/dp6112.pdf

      • bbb

        Yep, if I felt like googling there is a nice comic that is tl;dr’d as:

        I get drunk and think Im sober enough to drive
        I get high and am too afraid/paranoid/tired/sleepy to drive

    • Josh S

      I feel like I just had a toke – that’s a mind-blowingly ignorant thing to say.

      As if we don’t already have drunk and drugged up people. Did Prohibition somehow stop people from drinking? N.O. The current drug laws do NOT stop people from getting high.

  • Doobie-ous

    Not likely to go anywhere, but I’ll bet there’s new blend called “Englin” in no time. Doesn’t roll of the tongue like “Blue Ivy,” but at least it would have a nice to have a hometown blend.

  • http://www.exactcom.com.au/proofs/KombiPics/Wrecks/bayBushOvergrown.jpg Overgrown Bush

    It is not called Alcoholic Beverage Control for nothing. Nope to the dope.

    • Josh S

      So change the name?

      Controlled Substances Control?

      Why this country has not legalized marijuana yet is beyond me. Any reasoned analysis of the effects the so-called “War on Drugs” has on so many aspects of society results in the conclusion that it is a tremendous waste of resources and lives. To the extent that a place like Virginia raises the issue, it improves the political climate immeasureably. The uptight crowd in Kansas and Iowa that would otherwise shoot down any kind of national discussion of the issue can too easily dismiss California or New York as being just a bunch of hippies. But if a place like Virginia, with a solidly conservative and “country” reputation can discuss it openly, then maybe those moderate conservatives in Middle America that are now afraid to raise their voices would feel more free to explore the idea.

      Legalizing drugs would be such a huge step forward for the country with the only possible risks involved being all the police agencies around the country that would have too much time on their hands and might get trigger happy, resulting in brutalities currently perpetrated on drug users, pushers, gangsters, etc being perpetrated on other people.

      • http://www.exactcom.com.au/proofs/KombiPics/Wrecks/bayBushOvergrown.jpg Overgrown Bush

        Actually, I’d just prefer they get rid of State controlled alcohol.

      • http://www.exactcom.com.au/proofs/KombiPics/Wrecks/bayBushOvergrown.jpg Overgrown Bush

        Just out of curiosity, if it were called “Controlled Substances Control”, would it be the only place to buy other controlled substances such as beer, tobacco, and Claratin-D?

      • Quoth the Raven

        Yes, Josh, all those evil cops would immediately start shooting innocent citizens if drugs were legalized. Brilliant argument.

        • Josh S

          Well, as with any government funded group, the various police organizations that suck off the War on Drugs tit would be quite motivated to figure out a way to keep their money and toys coming.
          What are the scenarios? Here’s one: you think anti-terrorism bullsh*t is bad now, post-War on Drugs, just think about all those resources being devoted to new security checkpoints at the train station, the bus stops, metro stops, shopping malls, sports stadiums, etc.

          • Quoth the Raven

            Keeping their “money and toys” coming is a far cry from the police suddenly becoming “trigger happy”.

        • Josh S

          And furthermore, Q the R, I was originally worried that I was perhaps using language that was perhaps too hyperbolic. But kudos to you for figuring out how to give that extra push to go right over the edge.

          • Quoth the Raven

            Sorry, Josh, but you’re the one who said “trigger happy” and “brutalities”. That was an immature cheap shot and you know it. But hey, if you want to continue to stand behind such a ludicrous argument (and blame me for pushing it over the edge), be my guest.

  • M

    Even if this were a good idea, and even if the governor supported it, it sitll isn’t something Virginia could do on its own. Federal law controls marijuana, and Virginia can’t just override that. Englin says he want the governor to “petition” DEA to change it to a Schedule II drug. Fine, petition away, but there is no reason to think DEA is going to pay any attention. And even if it did reclassify pot, wouldn’t making it Schedule II just make it available by prescription, like oxycodone? It’s not like the ABC stores could just start selling it to anyone.
    Sounds more like another local pol wanting to spend our tax money to protest or make some half-baked “point” to the state or Federal government. This will really endear us to Richmond.

    • TGEoA

      +1

      Complete waste of time. Grandstanding to the extreme.

      • j

        +1

        Can we get on with the next inane proposal/idea/suggestion? I don’t want to be late for happy hour.

      • bbb

        ultimately laws are passed based on what constituents want. the more of these studies are done the more aware/educated people become, the more public opinion changes

    • Gov’t Lawyer

      I believe you are mistaken about Federal law entirely controlling this situation. The Controlled Substances Act requires a “positive conflict” before it preempts state drug control laws. That’s why the Feds can’t block state legalization of medical marijuana. Yes, they can send DEA agents anywhere, but they just don’t have the resources to go after any but the largest suppliers. In Northern Calfornia, they’re prosecution threshhold is very very high – pounds and pounds, not ounces.

      • Gov’t Lawyer

        “their,” not “they’re.” oops. must be high.

    • Happy

      Actually the Federal Government has no legal right to ban marijuana its a state matter by default due to the constitution, We just put up with it and let it happen though.

  • Vik

    The federal gov’t needs to legalize weed and let the states decide what they want to do. I hope this does happen someday and weed is legal and taxed.

    • TGEoA

      Screw that. Legalize and don’t tax it.

      • Vik

        I think if we tax alcohol and cigarettes, it’s not ridiculous to tax marijuana. Either way, I want states and local jurisdictions to decide what’s best for them w/o any threat of interference from the federal gov’t. There are differing views on whether and to what extent marijuana should be legal, but most people seem to agree that our federal gov’t has its priorities a bit screwed up.

  • Peter Tosh

    Legalize it – don’t criticize it
    Legalize it and i will advertise it
    Some call it tampee
    Some call it the weed
    Some call it Marijuana
    Some of them call it Ganja
    Legalize it – don’t criticize it
    Legalize it and i will advertise it
    Singer smoke it
    And players of instruments too
    Legalize it, yeah, yeah
    That’s the best thing you can do
    Doctors smoke it
    Nurses smoke it
    Judges smoke it
    Even the lawyers too
    Legalize it – don’t criticize it
    Legalize it and i will advertise it
    It’s good for the flu
    It’s good for asthma
    Good for tuberculosis
    Even umara composis
    Legalize it – don’t criticize it
    Legalize it and i will advertise it
    Bird eat it
    And they leave it
    Fowls eat it
    Goats love to play with it

  • D’oh

    Wait… What was I going to type? Dude…

  • http://www.exactcom.com.au/proofs/KombiPics/Wrecks/bayBushOvergrown.jpg Overgrown Bush

    All this talk about ganja has made me ravenous. I think I’ll order up six whoppers for delivery!

    • Bluemontsince1961

      Me too! I’ll take a jar of peanut butter with a spoon, two dozen fried meat dumplings from Peking Inn in Falls Church, and a gallon of Bryers Rocky Road.

      • phil

        See how good it would be for the economy!

    • truth be told

      I’ve got a gross of Dorito Cool Ranch, a gallon of dip, and a case of Ho Ho’s headed my way.

    • novasteve

      Should the ABC stores logically sell food if they start selling pot? Even more money for the state. They can even sell Phish albums, lava lamps, patchouli, and whatever else is associated with stoners.w

      • truth be told

        You left out the obvious: bongs, roach clips, and rolling paper.

        • http://www.exactcom.com.au/proofs/KombiPics/Wrecks/bayBushOvergrown.jpg Overgrown Bush

          We’d just have to rename ABC to Penguin Feather Records.

  • ShirliMan

    I remember nickle bags when I was much, much younger…oh wait, that’s the plastic bag fee story.

  • xiann

    Pot should be legal. Not because I want to smoke a bunch of it, but because there’s just no good reason for it to be illegal. If it were legal we could increase tax revenue and spend time enforcing laws that actually protect people.

    • novasteve

      You mean like enforcing smoking bans to prevent legal adults from smoking a legal product in a bar that they own?

      • xiann

        Since you mentioned it, I also consider the smoking ban to be an overreaching law that wastes people’s time. So no, that’s not what I mean.

        • Vik

          I agree. I think there is some logic in banning smoking in some public places, but I think the smoking ban is overreaching, just like the marijuana ban. I can’t stand people who say they’re in favor of limited government trivializing this issue b/c they don’t agree with other views of its supporters.

  • http://www.drugwarrant.com/articles/why-is-marijuana-illegal/ Robert Nesta Marley

    Yes! About time an elected official showed some real leadership. Way to go Delegate Englin! Marijuana prohibition is a colossal failure. The naysayers on this blog who contend that it will never happen need to consider that 99% of marijuana arrests are at the state level and that states like California, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, Vermont, Washington and Oregon are already generating significant revenue through medical marijuana sales. Virginia won’t be the first state to legalize marijuana — we may well be the last — but marijuana will be legal one day. I recommend the following link to learn why marijuana was made illegal in the first place (hint: it’s not health outcomes):
    http://www.drugwarrant.com/articles/why-is-marijuana-illegal/

  • Mary Jane

    Absolute Cannibis, Stoli Reefer, yes!!!!

  • William

    Great idea–ready-made infrastructure for medically sanctioned distribution. Obviously many hurdles ahead, even for a study. But this notion is far superior to selling off ABCs and forgoing future tax revenues.

  • Jack Herer

    David Englin for President or King…

    The First Decree!

    The tyranny and the BS has gone on too long.

    Remember, those that block its legalization will be banished from the Land!

  • George

    Result: Virginia: Richest state ever

    • Ha!

      +1

  • P. Monroe

    Even with high tax, would still most likely be cheaper than street price–by a decent amount, too.
    C’mon, man.

  • BoredHouseWife

    I think its a great idea too bad the prison industrial complex wont allow it

    • Tadarice

      I’ve read through this whole thread up to here, and I’m glad someone finally pointed out the real barrier. The private prison industry only gets federal funding if they maintain specific population sizes. Their lobbiests will ALWAYS pressure our Congress to keep marijuana illegal regardless of public opinion to keep their populations high with literally thousands of non-violent marijuana offenders.

      The study proposed by Englin would be good for awareness of the marijuana policy as a source of political discussion and the regulated sale of marijuana would undoubtedly generate tax income for the state, but without serious pressure from the public the lobbiests will continue to control drug policy in the US.

  • TheTruth

    If you even try to argue that marijuana should not be legal/decriminalized you seriously need to smarten up and listen to the facts. Marijuana has never in the history of the world caused the death of ANYONE. What is the point of it being illegal? Tobacco and alcohol kill more people in one second than cannibas has in its entire existence. This bill should pass but of course it won’t because our government officials are collectively some of the most ignorant people in the entire world.

  • JoeDaWg

    Great idea and long over due. The attempted prohibition of marijuana has worked out about as well as socialism is Europe. You have to be pretty dense to think we should continue to throw trillions of dollars away on this asinine policy. And I’m a life long conservative, I always have a problem wih the nanny state.

  • Cj Sangrand

    I think this would be great, what’s there to loose if it’s under the governments control! People want to buy weed at a store if they want to, why do you fcking care? And the whole comparison of growing weed at home and making homemade alcoholic drinks at home is fckin stupid. Who in the hell has that time on there hands anyways an wants to go through all that trouble and the chance of it not being sucsesful*? It’s made right by the makers. It’s going to grown right by the professionals. There not trying to hurt you, they are hustling.

  • Roger_Murdock

    Honestly, I have difficulty understanding why some people have such a problem with cannabis. (I mean, what’s not to love?) But hey, if it’s not your thing, no biggie. There’s no accounting for taste. (I’m also pretty baffled by the apparent appeal of “Dancing With The Stars.” I mean, even high, that show’s pretty much unwatchable.) But what I REALLY can’t understand — what absolutely boggles my mind — is the willingness of so many people to use state-sponsored VIOLENCE in a futile attempt to impose their preferences on their fellow citizens. Let’s be very clear — we’re not really talking about whether cannabis should be “legal.” As the saying goes, “to pass a law means nothing, to enforce a law means everything.” So what we’re REALLY talking about is whether we should be sending men with guns to arrest non-violent adults and lock them in government cages for the “crime” of possessing some dried plant matter (or engaging in consensual exchanges for its sale). That’s the reality of how this asinine law is enforced. And we’re still arguing over this in the year 2012?! In America, the country that bills itself as the “land of the free”? And at a time when our national debt has reached 15 trillion? Wow.

  • John Andre

    Even if ABC stores sell pot, it’s still illegal under Federal law…even medical marijuana.

    What’s needed is a repeal of the Federal ban which would allow for medical [but not necessarily recreational] marijuana. Then the Federal government could tax pot and Virginia could regulate its sale by establishing the ABC system as the legitimate outlet for medical marijuana in the Commonwealth.

  • John Andre

    Repeal of the Federal ban would also allow American farmers to grow hemp as a fiber crop for the first time in years. George Washington grew hemp at Mount Vernon; whether he and Martha enjoyed an occasional toke is open to question.

  • Kathy

    How much will the study cost? How long will it last and specific what are
    are the next steps?
    To be able to get the needed pain meds here in Va. would be
    extremely helpful and would lessen the cost of traveling, shipping, etc gets tiring and really quite expensive, especially when you are giving it to another state.

  • Kathy

    I forgot to include that the real driver/s for keeping
    weed classed as a 1 narcotic and keeping it illilegal,
    is our PRISON system. Take a look at the strongest objections and the ones with the most financial backing opposition – u might be shocked.

  • Deborah spaulding

    It saddens me that cannabis will be classified with booze. We may think it as a victory, but really it’s another coverup to the truth.

  • angie

    i say do what ever it takes to pass this cuz it really don’t matter to me.cuz i don’t do either one

  • Amber

    Yes it should! For the love of God…legalize it@!

  • Guy

    VABC should not be selling ANYTHING.

  • Jason S.

    I don’t mind it be sold in Virginia, but if the only argument you have is that it will raise revenues, then you are some shaky ground. Why not argue that it can be legalized as it’s essentially a victimless act?

  • http://oncomi micheal T.

    Yes they should theres nothing wrong with it and as much. people smoke it all different kinds you could make way more sales then alcohol alone.

  • Dontae D

    Pot should diffently be legal. I hate drinking. Ppl who drink and drive causes more accidents then teens alone. I proudly smoke everyday and have been for almost 13 years. No mental problems due to pot nor addiction. Cigarettes are addictive and causes cancer. Wake up America stop being stupid. Light 1 up and legalize it

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