Glenn Youngkin Gets it: More Drugs Would Be a Disaster for Virginia

Governor’s Veto Puts Public Health Over Corporations, Caps Bold Effort by Coalition to Defeat Commercial Pot

(RICHMOND, VA) – Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) President Kevin A. Sabet, Ph.D., a former Obama White House senior drug policy advisor, released the following statement today in response to Governor Glenn Youngkin’s veto of legislation that would have allowed commercial sales of marijuana and high-potency THC drugs in Virginia: 

“Governor Youngkin’s veto is a victory for the health and safety of all Virginians, especially the Commonwealth’s young people and those who suffer from substance use disorders. Governor Youngkin clearly understood that this legislation was dangerous and didn’t fall for the pot industry’s empty promises of revenue and social justice that have fallen flat across the country. The governor heeded the advice of medical and health professionals, parents, law enforcement, and those working on the front lines of the addiction crisis to reject the legislature’s call for more drugs in Virginia communities. 

“Unlike members of the legislature who naively believe that injecting more dangerous drugs into communities across the Commonwealth would be beneficial, Governor Youngkin chose to follow the science and the data and reject an industry known for preying on the most vulnerable among us. 

“Today’s high-potency THC drug products are medically and scientifically known to be tied to IQ loss, psychosis, degradation of motor skills, depression, suicide, and schizophrenia, especially among young people. Trading public health and safety for a pittance of tax revenue would have resulted in significant costs to Virginia children and Virginia families in addition to costs for the state government. 

“We applaud Governor Youngkin for standing up to the addiction industry by vetoing this bill. Virginia is for lovers, not pot shops on every corner.”