Virginia representative David Englin (D-Alexandria) is about as straight as they come. Wife. Kids. An Air Force Veteran, who never even tried pot. But he is shaking up Virginia politics by proposing that marijuana be sold in state-owned ABC stores, where Virginians currently get their booze.
Unlike Maryland or DC, in Virginia hard alcohol can only be bought at state-owned liquor stores, run by the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (“ABC Stores”).
Booze is a nice monopoly to control. Last year Virginia earned $248 million dollars on liquor sales at its ABC stores. Estimates are that Marijuana sales at these same stores could bring in a billion dollars a year to Virginia’s coffers.
Not only would pot sales at ABC Stores provide the money to upgraded Virginia crowded transportation network, but it might actually help Virginia’s number one traffic problem – road rage.
Virginia’s strict ABC system was created back in 1934, right after the repeal of Prohibition.
Englin believes that these state-owned stores, with their vigorous ID checks, could safely distribute marijuana if marijuana prohibition ended.
Englin, a Harvard grad, argues that ABC stores are the best venue for controlling marijuana access to minors, while raising tax revenue.
To voice your support, contact his office: DelDEnglin@house.virginia.gov
Or write your local representative supporting House Joint Resolution 140.