This Week at the 2021 Virginia General Assembly--Week 5
This week began the second half of session. Virginia Catholic Conference advocacy this week focused heavily on two issues:
Marijuana: Bills to commercialize marijuana in Virginia, HB 2312 and SB 1406, have passed their respective chambers of origin. However, since they contain differing provisions on a number of issues including local control, effective dates, and, in the case of SB 1406, a nonbinding “advisory” referendum to be held in November 2021, the bills will likely wind up in a conference committee.
Data and the experiences of other states clearly show that commercialization of marijuana (including highly concentrated THC-infused dabs, edibles and vapes, etc.) would lead to more addiction, mental illness, suicide and traffic deaths – dangerously harming many children, breaking up families and even ending lives. (These bills do not involve CBD and low-THC oils, which are already permitted with a prescription.) Please take action now to help defeat them!
Adoption Conscience Protection Repeal: This morning, the Senate Rehabilitation and Social Services Committee passed (8-7) a modified version of HB 1932, a bill whose original version would have entirely repealed conscience protections that Catholic Charities and other faith-based adoption and foster care agencies rely on to do their outstanding work. We will have more to say about the amended version, which still narrows the protections, in the days to come.
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In prayer and in public, your voices are urgently needed to bring Gospel values to bear on vital decisions being made by those who represent you.
~~~The Virginia Catholic Conference is the public policy agency representing Virginia’s Catholic bishops and their two dioceses.