The legalization of simple possession needs to happen this summer and must not be tied to the rollout of the marijuana marketplace.
The marketplace piece, on the other hand, is too important to rush out half-baked. It cannot become yet another business vehicle that enriches the wealthy while providing precious few openings for Black would-be entrepreneurs. And the revenues generated need to be largely reinvested back into communities devastated by decades-old racist policies.
New Jersey, whose governor this week signed into law a marijuana legalization bill, offers state lawmakers a template for how this should be done. Or more accurately, it has enacted into law measures that Virginia activists have been pushing.
New Jersey will dedicate 70% of marijuana sales tax revenue toward areas that have been disproportionately…