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Star Exponent: House GOP favors criminal penalties for marijuana possession

Alison Brophy Champion of the The Culpeper Star Exponent reports on the House GOP's recent refusal to advance marijuana reform.

"The Republican-led House Courts of Justice this week tabled various marijuana-related proposals, including one to decriminalize it. But Virginia NORML Director Pam Novy, of Culpeper, said that would not set back the state’s marijuana reform movement."

Read the article here.


House Republicans Favor Criminal Penalties for Simple Marijuana Possession



There were a historic 21 marijuana-related bills presented in the Virginia General Assembly this year. Unfortunately, most were dead on arrival in the Virginia House of Delegates. Each of the 6 expungement bills, both decriminalization bills, and the drivers license decrim bill, heard by the House Courts of Justice Criminal Law subcommittee were killed along party lines, with Republicans voting to table each of the 9 pieces of legislation. Vivienne Smith, the Director of the Virginia chapter of Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition stated that she was disappointed the republicans on the committee so swiftly tabled bills supported by the majority of Virginians. “It’s unfortunate that the republicans in the House aren’t being more pragmatic. Marijuana is now a mainstream topic of debate and will only become more so as we approach the 2016 elections. Holding steadfast to the notion that marijuana users are criminals will only hurt our party.”

Pam Novy, the Executive Director of Virginia NORML, states that she remains optimistic, in spite of the recent setback. “While the likelihood of advancing similar legislation now in the Senate has certainly decreased, it’s clear that many republican lawmakers see the need for change. Many are now willing to admit, at least privately, that criminalizing a substance that’s been used by nearly half of Virginians is simply wrong.”

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The Roanoke Times: Virginia NORML’s Dr. Crovo, Letter to the Editor

Dr. Melanie Crovo of Virginia NORML's Roanoke Valley chapter has written an excellent Letter to the Editor of The Roanoke Times.

When our members' letters are published, our message reaches many people who otherwise might know little about the critical need for marijuana policy reform in Virginia. Virginia NORML encourages you to write a similar letter to YOUR local newspaper, and help advance reform in Virginia.

Read the letter here.

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NBC29: Virginia NORML Advocates Lobby the General Assembly

NBC29’s Alana Austin reports on Virginia NORML’s successful Lobby Day at the General Assembly in Richmond. 

Read the article here.


WDBJ7: Group plans to lobby for decriminalization of marijuana

WDBJ7’s Khiree Stewart interviewed Dr. Melanie Crovo about Virginia NORML’s successful Lobby Day in Richmond. Melanie recently joined Virginia NORML and attended our state conference in October. She raises many of the common sense points supporting Virginia’s critical need for cannabis policy reforms.

Read the article and view the interview here.


NBC29: Central Virginia Organization Advocates for Marijuana Decriminalization

NBC29’s Cat Boardman reports on Jefferson Area NORML planning for Virginia NORML Lobby Day in Richmond. Executive Director Dr. Pam Novy shares a personal story about why she is a strong advocate for marijuana law reform.

Read and view the story here.




Star-Exponent: Advocates to lobby state lawmakers for marijuana decriminalization — again

The Culpeper Star-Exponent consistently provides excellent coverage of Virginia NORML events and issues. Their latest piece features our executive director, Dr. Pam Novy, and the executive director of Virginia RAMP, Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition, Vivienne Smith, and their bipartisan effort to advance cannabis reform in the 2016 legislative session.

Read the article here.


Richmond ABC 8News: Senator again pushes for decriminalization of marijuana

Virginia NORML Executive Director Pamela Novy spoke with ABC 8News reporter Mark Tenia about Senator Adam Ebbin’s marijuana decriminalization bill, SB104. See her interview here.

Be sure to take the 8News Daily Poll: Should marijuana be decriminalized in Va.?


VIDEO: Dressing for Success at Lobby Day

Check out this entertaining video produced by Brian & Tammy Mundy, Jefferson Area NORML's fearless 2015 leadership, on preparing to put your best foot forward for Lobby Day.

Join Virginia NORML's grassroots movement for cannabis reform in Richmond on January 14 for Lobby Day, as we visit lawmakers and their legislative aides in person.  Register:



Virginia NORML Unites Coalition to Lobby General Assembly for Marijuana Decriminalization


January 7th, 2016


Virginia NORML Unites Strong Bipartisan Coalition to Lobby General Assembly for Marijuana Decriminalization

RICHMOND, VA: The Virginia chapters of NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws and RAMP, Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition will join forces to lobby the General Assembly in Richmond on January 14th at 8:30 a.m. Advocates from around the state will meet with legislators in support of at least one bill, SB 104, a marijuana decriminalization bill.

Leaders from both groups understand that changing harmful marijuana laws is a bipartisan issue and look forward to engaging legislators from both sides of the aisle.

“Because the Virginia constitution does not allow for a “ballot initiative,” the type of initiative that got marijuana legalization on the ballot in Colorado, lobbying events are especially important in Virginia”, stated Pamela Novy, Ph.D, the Executive Director of Virginia NORML. “The Christopher Newport University poll from January, 2015 clearly shows that 71 percent of Virginians support decriminalizing marijuana possession,” said Novy.

One bill Virginia NORML will advocate for on Lobby Day is SB104. The bill, introduced by Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria), will remove criminal penalties for possession of marijuana in the Commonwealth and replace them with a civil fine. This legislation will remove punishments that disproportionately impact young adults and people of color. If passed, it would allow Virginia to join the 20 states, including Maryland, DC, and North Carolina, that no longer punish marijuana consumers with criminal charges and jail time that adversely impact prospects for jobs, student loans, scholarships and child custody. In addition, Virginia stands to save tens of millions of dollars spent annually arresting and prosecuting over 22,000 citizens for simple possession.

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