Virginia Governor Signs Cannabis Decriminalization Medical Use Bills into Law
Two Virginia bills (SB-2 and HB 972) have been signed by Virginia Governor Ralph Northam (D). The bills will decriminalize weed possession in the state, according to an article on the NORML website. Additionally, the new laws allow for the sale of medical cannabis later this year. These are two of sixteen cannabis-related bills passed through Virginia’s legislature this year.
NORML says the decriminalization bill will reduce the penalty for possession of up to one ounce of marijuana to a maximum civil fine of $25, with no associated arrest or criminal record. This is a change from the current law, allowing for minor cannabis possession arrests that are punishable by up to 30 days in jail, a possible loss of driving privileges, and a criminal record – punishments doled out to over 15,000 people in the year from 7/2018 to 6/2019.
The bill will also seal the records of previous marijuana convictions from employers and schools but does not expunge cannabis records.