Virginia appears poised to affix the ranks of states to decriminalize marijuana, with Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam saying last week that he backs the protection.
The proposal is part of Northam’s broader jail justice reform agenda for the model new 12 months, which along with cannabis decriminalization consists of parole reform, elevating the felony larceny threshold, elevating the age of juvenile swap to grownup courtroom, and the eternal elimination of driver’s license suspensions for unpaid fines, prices and courtroom costs.
“All Virginians deserve access to a fair and equitable criminal justice system,” Northam acknowledged Friday in a assertion. “My proposed criminal justice reform legislation and budget initiatives will combat mass incarceration, increase supports for returning citizens, and ensure meaningful second chances for those who have paid their debts to society. This is a bold step towards a more just and inclusive Commonwealth, and I look forward to working with the General Assembly to pass these measures into law.”
Decriminalization is Getting Additional Frequent
Better than a dozen completely different states have decriminalized marijuana, with a rising amount—most currently Illinois—embracing outright legalization. Beneath Northam’s proposal, Virginians busted for simple possession of pot would face a $50 civil penalty barely than a jail misdemeanor. The lenient penalty would apply to those arrested for as a lot as a half-ounce of pot. In addition to, Northam acknowledged he would expunge the data of individuals beforehand convicted of simple possession—a provision that Illinois moreover included in its new marijuana laws.
Nevertheless Northam did not use the announcement to signal help for marijuana legalization; in accordance with the Richmond Cases-Dispatch, the governor acknowledged on the Friday announcement that he would favor to test the issue sooner than shifting forward.
Northam’s doable successor would possibly switch the state in that route, however. Virginia lawyer fundamental Mark Herring, who’s working for governor of the state in 2021, generally known as on the state to legalize leisure pot use in October, citing a poll that confirmed rising help for the protection throughout the state.
Remaining month, Herring hosted a cannabis summit that features panels and reveals that examined how legalization has labored in several states, equal to Colorado.
Herring used the event to as quickly as as soon as extra reiterate his help for ending pot prohibition.
“Front and center is badly needed reform of our cannabis laws in Virginia. I don’t believe that Virginia’s current system of criminalizing cannabis is working. It is needlessly creating criminals and burdening Virginians with convictions. The human and social costs of this are enormous,” Herring acknowledged.