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VPM Daily Newscast: July 1, 2021

VPM's daily newscast contains all your Central Virginia news in just 5 to 10 minutes. Episodes are recorded the night before so you can wake up prepared.           

Listeners can subscribe through NPR One, Apple Podcasts, Megaphone, Spotify and wherever you get your podcasts.       

Here’s a recap of the top stories on the morning of Thursday, July 1, 2021: 

  • Starting today, Virginians can legally possess up to an ounce of marijuana. But as Hannah Schuster from partner station WHRV reports, advocates fear confusion over the new law could result in Black people being disproportionately targeted by law enforcement. 

  • Another new law taking effect today requires Virginia schools to grant all middle and high school students one excused absence a year to participate in a civic event.  As Megan Pauly reports, it was modeled after a Fairfax school board policy and was championed by a group of passionate teenagers.  

  • This Independence Day holiday is likely to see a significant jump in travel volume compared with last year. AAA predicts more than 47 million Americans will travel this weekend. In Virginia, this translates to 1.3 million people. That’s a 40 percent increase over 2020 during the pandemic. The majority of Virginians will be traveling by car with traffic on U.S. roads predicted to increase by 15 percent. 

  • New laws take effect today in Virginia – most notably, the legalization of marijuana. Legal and justice reporter Whittney Evans has been following legislation passed during the 2021 General Assembly session and explains some of the changes.