Most of the new laws passed earlier this year by the Democrat-controlled Virginia General Assembly will take effect Thursday. That includes measures that legalize the recreational use of marijuana, largely ban police use of facial recognition technology and forgive certain unemployment overpayments. Democrats have used their majority in state government to pass bills that have further transformed Virginia into an outlier in the South. Democrats say their policies will help Virginia recover from the pandemic, improve public education and make the criminal justice system more equitable. Republicans warn the new laws will hamper small businesses, increase energy costs and make families less safe.