Virginia Decriminalizes Low-Level Cannabis Possession, Seals Records
Virginia’s law, making low-level marijuana a civil rather than criminal offense, has been signed by the state’s governor. According to YES! Weekly, the development director for NORML, Jenn Michelle Pedini, expressed pride in having worked with Virginia Legislators to get the law passed. She also said that additional cannabis law reforms are still necessary.
The new law, signed by Governor Northam of Virginia, makes possession of up to an ounce of cannabis a civil offense, whereas it was a criminal offense previously. Under the new law, such possession cases will result in a fine of $25, with no arrest or criminal record being created. The new law also calls for the sealing of misdemeanor cannabis possession offences, of which Virginia police made almost 30,000 in 2018. Pedini is quoted in the article as saying, “Virginians have long opposed the criminalization of personal marijuana possession, and the enactment of this legislation turns that public opinion into public policy.”