Arlington, VA

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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