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Photo: Alex Edelman/Getty Images

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam said on Monday he plans introduce and support legislation to legalize the recreational use of marijuana in the state.

The big picture: If Northam is successful, Virginia would join 15 other states and D.C. that have broadly legalized cannabis use.

What he's saying: “It’s time to legalize marijuana in Virginia,” Northam said in a news release.

  • “Our Commonwealth has an opportunity to be the first state in the South to take this step, and we will lead with a focus on equity, public health, and public safety. I look forward to working with the General Assembly to get this right," he added.
  • The Northam administration said it is working closely with lawmakers to finalize legislation in advance of the 2021 General Assembly session.
  • The administration cited local government studies that address inequities in how current law is enforced and how the new legislation could attract revenue for the state.
  • “This has become an equity issue and, and our administration has always been focused on equity, but certainly in the last couple of years that has become a greater focus,” Northam told reporters on Monday.

Where it stands: Under legislation that went into effect this summer, possession of small amounts of marijuana in Virginia no longer carries jail time or a criminal conviction.

Go deeper: Voters approve marijuana legalization in 4 states

Go deeper

Armed election protesters rally outside Michigan secretary of state's home

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson during a November press conferencein Detroit. Photo: Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Sunday night called for threats against elected officials to "stop" after Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said armed protesters gathered outside her home and shouted "baseless conspiracy theories about the election."

Why it matters: Saturday's protest follows Trump's persistent unfounded claims that the 2020 presidential election was rigged. Election officials in states including Georgia and Pennsylvania have reported receiving death threats over the election.

Mike Allen, author of AM
3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden adviser Cedric Richmond sees first-term progress on reparations

Illustration: "Axios on HBO"

White House senior adviser Cedric Richmond told "Axios on HBO" that it's "doable" for President Biden to make first-term progress on breaking down barriers for people of color, while Congress studies reparations for slavery.

Why it matters: Biden said on the campaign trail that he supports creation of a commission to study and develop proposals for reparations — direct payments for African-Americans.

Cyber CEO: Next war will hit regular Americans online

Any future real-world conflict between the United States and an adversary like China or Russia will have direct impacts on regular Americans because of the risk of cyber attack, Kevin Mandia, CEO of cybersecurity company FireEye, tells "Axios on HBO."

What they're saying: "The next conflict where the gloves come off in cyber, the American citizen will be dragged into it, whether they want to be or not. Period."