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U.S. Virgin Islands Votes to Legalize Recreational Cannabis

The territory also approved legislation expunging criminal records for individuals with marijuana-related offenses.

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The U.S. Virgin Islands has voted to approve legislation expanding the legalization of cannabis to include recreational use and expunging criminal records for individuals with marijuana-related offenses.

Senator Janelle K. Sarauw said the amendment process included several stakeholder meetings, a legislative summit in Colorado and "tussles with legal counsel."

"The meetings hosted by my office over the Christmas holidays really brought this legislation over the top. The opportunity to deliberate on the bill openly and collaboratively -- its intents, the parameters necessary because of our geographic make-up and enforcement limitations -- all without the time constraints of an actual hearing, was paramount to the finalization of the legislation," she wrote. "Everyone's concerns were heard and addressed in those meetings. Even Senators that were known "No" votes, participated, in an effort to ensure if the bill passed, it would address those warranted concerns."

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