Congressman Scott Taylor to Speak on the Topic of Marijuana Reform in Virginia Beach’s ViBe District

July 26, 2018

Media Advisory
For Press Inquires:
Jenn Michelle Pedini
[email protected]

Congressman Scott Taylor to Speak on the Topic of Marijuana Reform in Virginia Beach’s ViBe District

Cocktails & Conversation: An Evening of Cannabis Policy with special guest Congressman Scott Taylor, cosponsor of the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2017

Virginia Beach, VA: Representative Scott Taylor (R-VA) will address the topic of marijuana reform at Cocktails & Conversation: An Evening of Cannabis Policy at Esoteric on Friday, July 27th, at 6:30pm.

The event will include an overview of federal marijuana policy reform progress by Congressman Taylor, questions from the audience, and an update on reform in Virginia from Jenn Michelle Pedini, executive director of Virginia NORML.

“I think we should decriminalize it and leave it up to the states,” said Congressman Taylor, cosponsor of H.R. 1227, the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2017. “I do believe it’s a state decision, not a federal decision.”

The event is hosted by Virginia NORML, the nonprofit organization charting the course for cannabis reform in the Commonwealth. Tickets for Cocktails & Conversation: An Evening of Marijuana Policy Reform are available at All proceeds benefit Cannabis Commonwealth.

"Congressman Taylor is right to be out in front of this issue,” said Virginia NORML’s Pedini, “calling for the end of a failed federal policy that has wasted billions of taxpayer dollars in the decades long War on Drugs. It’s time that federal law respect the rights of the thirty-one states that have chosen to legally regulate the use of cannabis.”

Esoteric is located at 501 Virginia Beach Blvd in the heart of the dynamic ViBe District. Known for their inventive cocktails and dynamic contemporary American menu, this is a cause that the ownership of Esoteric believes in.

“We are thrilled to host this event,” said Esoteric’s Kristina Chastain. “We have long respected NORML and their long-running legislative efforts and education of this ancient, healing plant.”

2019 will be the first year that medical cannabis oils will be available in Virginia after the 2018 passage of the Let Doctors Decide bills SB726 and HB1251. The legislation, which passed unanimously, expands the affirmative defense for possession of medical cannabis oils to any diagnosed condition, and access to the medicine for registered patients at the pharmaceutical grade cannabis processing and distribution centers currently being licensed by the Board of Pharmacy.

Statewide, polling shows that Virginia is ready for more expansive marijuana policy reform. Over three quarters of Virginians favor decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana, making it a fine not a crime, according to a poll conducted earlier this year by Christopher Newport University’s Wason Center.

“Without question, Virginia is the Southern state most primed to make big progress on marijuana reform in the near future,” said Pedini. “Virginia legislators brave and wise enough to lead the way should be applauded.”

The chief sponsor of the House bill that would remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act is Representative Thomas Garrett (R-VA), representing Virginia’s 5th District. Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) has also cosponsored a bill, the Marijuana Freedom and Opportunity Act, that would federally decriminalize marijuana by removing it from the Controlled Substances Act.

Slowly but surely, more and more Virginians are coming out green and standing up for sensible marijuana policy reform.

RX Native Pharmaceuticals is the presenting sponsor of this event.


For questions or interview requests, please contact Jenn Michelle Pedini at (804) 464-7050 or [email protected]



Virginia NORML provides a voice in the public policy debate for the overwhelming majority of Virginians who oppose the failed policy of marijuana prohibition in favor of decriminalizing possession, and regulating in-state medical and adult-use production and sales for a safer Commonwealth.

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