Virginia NORML 2020 Voter Guide for Local Races

A survey was sent to all City Council, Town Council, Mayor, and Commonwealth’s Attorney candidates for the November 3 Election. Below is the grading scale used for based on their answers. Consideration for endorsement requires an A grade.

Candidates, submit your response to the Virginia NORML 2020 Candidate Survey or email intern@virginianorml.org for assistance.

For media inquiries, please contact jennmichelle@norml.org.

 

LOCAL CANDIDATE ABBREVIATION KEY

AUI Adult-Use Included in Locality’s Legislative Agenda
AUD Adult-Use Dispensaries in Locality
MUD Medical-Use Dispensaries in Locality

 

LOCAL CANDIDATE GRADING SCALE

A     AUI + AUD + MUD
B     AUD + MUD
C     MUD
F     Oppose

 

LOCAL CANDIDATE QUESTIONS

  

Including Support for Legalizing Responsible Use by Adults in Locality’s Legislative Agenda (AUI)

Legalizing and regulating the responsible use of cannabis by adults affords states the opportunity to govern its use accordingly, to better provide for consumer and public safety, and to prevent youth access by placing products behind an age-verified counter and reducing illicit sales. Regulating adult-use also provides economic stimulus through job creation and tax revenue, and allows a state to begin undoing the harms of prohibition waged primarily upon young people, poor people, and communities of color. As an elected member of local government, would you support or oppose including in the legislative agenda support for legislation to legalize the responsible use of cannabis by adults?

 

Allowing Adult-Use Dispensaries in the Locality (AUD)

Legalizing and regulating the responsible use of cannabis by adults affords states the opportunity to govern its use accordingly, to better provide for consumer and public safety, and to prevent youth access by placing products behind an age-verified counter and reducing illicit sales. Regulating adult-use also provides economic stimulus through job creation and tax revenue, and allows a state to begin undoing the harms of prohibition waged primarily upon young people, poor people, and communities of color. As an elected member of local government, would you support or oppose the location of state-regulated adult-use cannabis dispensaries in your locality?


Allowing Medical-Use Dispensaries in the Locality (MUD)

Over three dozen US states and territories, including Virginia, regulate medical cannabis. Virginia’s program is not ideal. Patients find it difficult to access dispensaries that are hours away from their homes. The cost of participation is often a barrier to many as the recommendation, registration, and medication are not covered by insurance or other aid. In addition to the access barriers to patients, there are access barriers to Virginia business owners as well due to the high cost of licensing and vertical integration requirements. Having access to dispensaries that are located near their homes helps to remove these barriers. As an elected member of local government, would you support or oppose the location of state-regulated medical cannabis dispensaries in your locality?

 

CANDIDATES

Bruce Hartwick (Bedford Town Council)
Political Party: Independent
Legislative History: N/A
Grade: A​

Larry W Riddle (Damascus Town Council)
Political Party: Republican
Legislative History: N/A
Grade: A

Bill Replogle (Leesburg Town Council)
Political Party: Democratic
Legislative History: N/A
Grade: A

Judy Peabody (Luray Town Council)
Political Party: Independent
Legislative History: N/A
Grade: F

Tamara L. Shewmake (Portsmouth City Council)
Political Party: Democrat
Legislative History: N/A
Grade: A

De'Andre A. Barnes (Portsmouth City Council)
Political Party: Democrat
Legislative History: N/A
Grade: A

Danny Meeks (Mayor, City of Portsmouth)
Political Party: Independent 
Legislative History: N/A
Grade: A

Donna B. Sayegh (Mayor, City of Portsmouth)
Political Party: Independent
Legislative History: N/A
Grade: A​

Stephanie Lynch (Richmond City Council)
Political Party: Democrat
Legislative History: N/A
Grade: A

Willie Hilliard (Richmond City Council) 
Political Party: Democrat
Legislative History: N/A
Grade: A

Alexsis Rodgers (Mayor, City of Richmond)
Political Party: Democrat
Legislative History: N/A
Grade: A

Cesar J. Alberto (Roanoke City Council)
Political Party: Libertarian
Legislative History: N/A
Grade: A​

Conrad Schesventer (Virginia Beach City Council)
Political Party: Democrat
Legislative History: N/A 
Grade: A

Tracey McLean (Mayor, City of Richmond)
Political Party: Independent
Legislative History: N/A
Grade: A

 


COMMONWEALTH'S ATTORNEY CANDIDATE ABBREVIATION KEY

DTP Declining to Prosecute Low-level Marijuana Offenses
AUI Adult-Use Included in Locality’s Legislative Agenda

 

COMMONWEALTH'S ATTORNEY GRADING SCALE

A     DTP + AUI
B     DTP
C     AUI
F     Oppose

   

COMMONWEALTH'S ATTORNEY CANDIDATE QUESTIONS

 

Declining to Prosecute Low-level Marijuana Offenses

The prohibition of cannabis allows for the disproportionate criminalization of Black and Brown
Virginians, despite similar rates of consumption across all races and ethnicities. The impacts of
cannabis criminalization are far reaching and include long-lasting collateral consequences well
beyond the criminal charge. Will your office support or oppose declining to prosecute low-level marijuana-related cases?

 

Including Support for Legalizing Responsible Use by Adults in Locality’s Legislative Agenda (AUI)

Legalizing and regulating the responsible use of cannabis by adults affords states the
opportunity to govern its use accordingly, to better provide for consumer and public safety, and
to prevent youth access by placing products behind an age-verified counter and reducing illicit
sales. Regulating adult-use also provides economic stimulus through job creation and tax
revenue, and allows a state to begin undoing the harms of prohibition waged primarily upon
young people, poor people, and communities of color. Will your office support or oppose future legislative attempts to legalize the responsible use
of cannabis by adults?

   

COMMONWEALTH'S ATTORNEY CANDIDATES