NORML leadership today sent an open letter to Nora D. Volkow, M.D., Director of the US National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), asking her to recognize the detrimental impact that racially-discriminatory marijuana law enforcement has had on the public health of communities of color.
“It is a positive sign that after years of heightened enforcement, we’re now seeing a downward trend in marijuana-related arrests in Virginia. Following the enactment of decriminalization on July 1, we expect to see an even more drastic reduction in these arrests — arrests that, historically, have disproportionately impacted the poor, the young, and people of color.”
In his veto message, the Governor wrote: “The language in the bill makes substantial policy changes to the medical marijuana program that were not fully scrutinized through normal legislative procedures before the bill was received by my office in the middle of the night Saturday. While there is much room for improvement in the way our state’s program operates, this bill does not address those items in a way I can support.”
Democratic Governor Ralph Northam officially signed legislation today decriminalizing marijuana possession. The new law takes effect July 1, 2020 and 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.
Gov Northam has approved legislation to decriminalize marijuana possession offenses and provide explicit legal protection to the state’s medical cannabis program participants. The new laws will take effect July 1, 2020.
“Minor marijuana possession offenders, many of them young people, should not be saddled with a criminal record and the lifelong penalties and stigma associated with it.”
Both chambers voted to decriminalize marijuana, legalize medical cannabis, and study a regulatory framework for adult-use
The measure legalizes the possession of up to 3/4 of an ounce of marijuana by those age 21 or older. It also allows for adults to home cultivate up to three mature marijuana pants and/or to possess up to five grams of hashish, and up to 300mg of cannabis-infused products.
“Long overdue progress is finally being made in the General Assembly thanks to many years of dedicated advocacy by Virginia NORML members.”
“[This vote] marks the first time the House Courts of Justice Committee has approved a decriminalization bill.”