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AMHERST COUNTY, Va. – Marijuana legalization is a hot-button issue in the Commonwealth, and Amherst County is considering a referendum against cannabis-based businesses.

The Board of Supervisors met Tuesday and discussed the possibility of banning dispensaries, wholesalers, manufacturers and farms in the region.

The new legalization would allow about 400 marijuana dispensaries throughout Virginia.

But county leaders say it could lead to tragedies, including death, so the decision should be up to voters.

“If the ability is there for the community to have input, my feeling is we let them have their input. That way if something happens to one of our families tragically, they can’t say, ‘well, that board up there, they said it was okay to do it,’ and whatever. I’m not having parts of that. Let the people have the decision,” said Supervisor Jimmy Ayers.

The board voted unanimously to have staff work with the registrar’s office to get the referendum on a ballot as soon as possible.

Copyright 2021 by WSLS 10 – All rights reserved.

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