Virginia Marijuana Arrests

   

Crime in Virginia 2022
1,560 marijuana arrests
37% decrease from 2021
see data here

Crime in Virginia 2021
2,466 marijuana arrests
82% decrease from 2020
49% were age 24 or younger
15% of all drug arrests

Crime in Virginia 2020
13,674 marijuana arrests
48% decrease from 2019
50% were age 24 or younger
46% of all drug arrests

Crime in Virginia 2019
26,470 marijuana arrests
8% decrease from 2018
50% were age 24 or younger

Crime in Virginia 2018 
28,866 marijuana arrests
3.5% increase from 2017
59% of all drug arrests

Crime in Virginia 2017
27,852 marijuana arrests
22% increase from 2016
70% of all drug arrests

Crime in Virginia 2016 
21,637 marijuana arrests

Cato Institute reports Virginia spent $81.2M enforcing marijuana prohibition in 2016. Based on this number, spending for 2017 and 2018 is estimated to have been over $100M in each year.


 

Illicit Market

 

Richmond Times-Dispatch reports Virginia's illicit market will grow to $2.4B in 2023, according to New Frontier Data.

Leafly reports, data from New Frontier Data’s U.S. Cannabis Report notes that the Virginia illicit market ranked fourth largest in the nation, encompassing roughly $1.8B of the U.S.' estimated $60 billion total 2020 sales. That compares to around $23 billion in legal medical and adult-use cannabis sales. Leafly’s 2020 jobs report estimated the size of the legal American cannabis market at around $14 billion.


Racial Disparity in Marijuana Enforcement in Virginia


Black people are 3.4x more likely than whites to be arrested for marijuana possession in Virginia despite similar usage rates

A Tale of Two Countries: Racially Targeted Arrests in the Era of Marijuana Reform ACLU

Marijuana Arrests by Locality 2010-2016, VCU Capital News Service
Racial Disparities in Marijuana Arrests 2003-2013, Drug Policy Alliance


2020 Virginia Adult-use Legalization Reports


Virginia Marijuana Legalization Work Group
Virginia Marijuana Legalization Work Group Meeting Minutes & Video
Governor Northam's Marijuana Legalization Report
JLARC Study: Key Considerations for Marijuana Legalization


2017 Virginia Decriminalization Reports


Virginia Marijuana Decriminalization Report
Virginia Marijuana Decriminalization Study


Virginia Polling


Polling shows Virginians, like Americans, overwhelmingly support marijuana policy reform, including regulating adult-use, decriminalizing personal possession to fines not crimes, and doctor-recommended medical marijuana.

 

VCU Wilder School January 2024
55% of Virginians believe "Virginia lawmakers should legalize the retail sale of marijuana in Virginia"

Christopher Newport University January 2024 
57% of likely Virginia voters support "allowing the retail sale of recreational marijuana"

Christopher Newport University January 2023 
60% of Virginia voters support "allowing the retail sale of recreational marijuana"

Christopher Newport University February 2021 
68% of Virginia voters including majorities of Republicans and Democrats, support "the legalization of marijuana for recreational use by adults in Virginia

Christopher Newport University December 2019
83% Virginians support decriminalization

University Mary Washington September 2019
61% of Virginians support "the legalization of marijuana for recreational use by adults"

Christopher Newport University February 2018
76% Virginians support decriminalization

Quinnipiac April 2017
59% Virginians support "allowing adults in Virginia to amounts of marijuana for personal use"
92% Virginians support "allowing adults in Virginia to legally use marijuana for medical purposes if their doctor prescribes it"