Subscribe to our RSS Feed

Virginia Marijuana Decriminalization Law Takes Effect Wednesday, July 1

Law Change Will Result in Tens of Thousands of Fewer Arrests

Richmond, VA: Legislation passed this spring decriminalizing marijuana possession offenses and sealing the records of past convictions from public view takes effect on Wednesday, July 1, 2020.

“NORML is proud to have worked alongside Senator Ebbin and Delegate Herring, both longtime champions of evidence-based cannabis policy, to bring about these needed changes to Virginia law,” said NORML development director, Jenn Michelle Pedini, who also serves as the executive director of the state affiliate, Virginia NORML. “Virginians have long opposed the criminalization of personal marijuana possession, and the enactment of this legislation turns that public opinion into public policy.”

Read more
Share

Virginia Decriminalizes Marijuana

Richmond, VA: Democratic Governor Ralph Northam has signed legislation (Senate Bill 2 | House Bill 972) decriminalizing marijuana possession. The new law takes effect July 1, 2020 and reduces penalties for offenses involving personal possession of up to one ounce of marijuana to a civil violation – punishable by a maximum $25 fine, no arrest, and no criminal record.

Under current law, minor marijuana possession offenses are classified as criminal misdemeanors, punishable by up to 30 days in jail, a criminal record, and the possible loss of driving privileges. According to data from the Virginia Criminal Sentencing Commission, more than 15,000 people were convicted for a first or second marijuana possession offense from July 2018 to June 2019.

“NORML is proud to have worked alongside Senator Ebbin and Delegate Herring, both longtime champions of evidence-based cannabis policy," said NORML development director, Jenn Michelle Pedini, who also serves as the executive director of the state affiliate, Virginia NORML. "This victory comes after many years of sustained effort by Virginia NORML and its membership. And while we applaud Governor Northam, his administration, and the legislature for taking this step, it’s critical that they work swiftly to legalize and regulate the responsible use of cannabis by adults and begin undoing the damages prohibition has waged on tens of thousands of Virginians."

Read more
Share

Governor Northam Approves Bills to Decriminalize Marijuana and Legalize Medical Cannabis

Richmond, VA: Democratic Governor Ralph Northam has approved legislation (Senate Bill 2 | House Bill 972) decriminalizing marijuana possession offenses. Northam also recommended technical amendments which must be approved by the legislature before the new law takes effect July 1, 2020. 

The law reduces penalties for offenses involving the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana to a civil violation – punishable by a maximum $25 fine, no arrest, and no criminal record.

Under current law, minor marijuana possession offenses are classified as criminal misdemeanors, punishable by up to 30 days in jail, a criminal record, and the possible loss of driving privileges. According to data from the Virginia Criminal Sentencing Commission, more than 15,000 people were convicted for a first or second marijuana possession offense from July 2018 to June 2019.

"Virginians have long opposed the criminalization of personal marijuana possession, and Governor Northam’s signature turns that public opinion into public policy,” said NORML Development Director Jenn Michelle Pedini, who also serves as the executive director of the state affiliate, Virginia NORML

The new law also seals the criminal records of past marijuana offenders from employers and school administrators, and defines substances previously considered hashish as marijuana.

Read more
Share

Virginia Legislature Approves Decriminalization and Legal Medical Cannabis

Richmond, VA: Broad changes to marijuana laws swept through the 2020 Virginia General Assembly. Today, the legislature approved SB2 and HB 972 to decriminalize marijuana possession. Those in possession of up to one ounce of cannabis for personal use will no longer be subject to criminal prosecution and will instead face a maximum $25 civil penalty. The bipartisan, bicameral effort led by Senator Adam Ebbin (D-30) and House Majority Leader Delegate Charniele Herring (D-46), also allows for the sealing of records for misdemeanor arrests, charges, convictions, and deferred dispositions for marijuana possession from employers and schools, and redefines extractions previously considered hashish as marijuana. The legislation now heads to Governor Ralph Northam’s desk for approval.

Read more
Share

Virginia NORML 2020 General Assembly Update: Crossover

Big wins!

This week, both the House of Delegates and the Senate voted in favor of decriminalizing personal possession of marijuana, and the Senate voted unanimously to legalize participation in Virginia’s medical cannabis program. Long overdue progress is finally being made in the General Assembly thanks to many years of dedicated advocacy by Virginia NORML and its members.

Read more
Share

Majority of Virginians Favor Legalizing Marijuana

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Monday, 30 September 2019

Richmond, VA: A University of Mary Washington survey shows 61 percent of Virginians favor legalizing the adult use of marijuana. Virginia attitudes, like American attitudes, are increasingly supportive of ending the failed policy of marijuana prohibition and replacing it with a legal marketplace in which products can be safely regulated for responsible consumers.

Read more
Share

Virginia: Annual Marijuana Possession Arrests Soar

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Thursday, 25 July 2019

Richmond, VA: The total number of marijuana-related arrests in 2018 climbed to nearly 29,000 – a total that is three times higher than 1999 totals, according to crime data compiled by the Virginia State Police.

Read more
Share

New Virginia Marijuana Laws Take Effect July 1

Richmond, Va — Three new laws intended to expand patient access to and the therapeutic value of Virginia’s medical cannabis program take effect July 1, 2019. 

Read more
Share

Charlottesville City Leaders Agree: It’s Time for Decriminalization in Virginia

When Charlottesville’s chief of police, Commonwealth’s Attorney, and two City Councilors were all asked if they support a policy of “fines not crimes” for personal possession of small amounts of marijuana by adults, the response was unanimous.

They all agree: it’s time for decriminalization in the Commonwealth.

Read more
Share

Charlottesville Commonwealth's Attorney Platania to Appear at Marijuana Policy Town Hall at CitySpace

 

Virginia NORML and its Charlottesville chapter will host a Marijuana Policy Town Hall this Wednesday, April 24, at 6pm in CitySpace on the downtown mall. 

Read more
Share