We all complain a whole awful lot, particularly in a time of crisis, about how our governments take just forever to get anything done. However, nobody told that to the Commonwealth of Virginia, which -- on top of all the current *large waving gesture* stuff going on -- had a couple of slam dunks within the past few weeks that have gone under the radar. The governor had a deadline on which to make some decisions on some stuff, and there were a couple of big winners on the docket.
First up, they decriminalized marijuana! Granted, they could've just, you know, legalized it, but it's still progress. Now, instead of criminal charges, you get a $25 fine -- a little more than what you'd be paying for a high-end G in some parts of California. The bill also has a nice legal protection that prevents marijuana convictions from showing up to employers and school admins. It also arranges a study that'll try to determine if Virginia should one day look into actually legalizing it. All this during 4/20: The Month, no less.
Next, Virginia has gone full Carole Baskin -- they've banned the petting of big cat cubs! Lest you think that the recent Tiger King shenanigans had anything to do with it (as some headlines have posited), it turns out they've been in the process for a few months now. The bill bans all direct contact with any "dangerous captive animal" and defines that as "... any bear, cougar, jaguar, leopard, lion, nonhuman primate, or tiger, or any hybrid of any such animal. 'Dangerous captive animal' does not include a clouded leopard." How very nice of them to subtly remind us what dangerously violent dicks chimps can be:
Where this law kinda breaks down a little is that the fine is apparently not to be more than $500 -- and if you remember from Tiger King, Joe Exotic was charging like $25 a head, if not more, in crowded places for playtime and pictures with the kittens. According to Exotic, selling a tiger can apparently net $2000. That's not really gonna deter anybody crazy enough to really go for it.
All in all, we should applaud these steps in the right direction. It's a lot to ask of our governments to get anything done these days, so B+ for effort, Virginia.
Top Image: 111 Emergency/Wiki Commons