In this July 24, 2017 photo, marijuana plants are seen at a laboratory in Natural Ventures in Caguas, Puerto Rico. Medical marijuana was legalized nearly two years ago in the U.S. territory via executive order, but it wasn’t until this month that a new governor signed a law that formalizes the industry and provides legal backing that is much harder to overturn or amend than an executive order.

Odds of Virginia decriminalizing or legalizing marijuana this year just plummeted

RICHMOND, Va. — A key panel in the Virginia state House has rejected a proposal to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana.

The Virginian-Pilot reports that the panel voted 7-1 against the measure Wednesday, likely dooming any chance of Virginia joining the growing list of states to decriminalize or legalize the drug.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment is pushing legislation that would lessen penalties for a first marijuana-related offense.