The General Assembly kicked off its 2020 legislative session this week, and there is a real possibility that Virginia could decriminalize marijuana possession this year. To turn this possibility into a reality, lawmakers need to hear this is a priority for their constituents. That's where you come in.
Sen. Adam Ebbin (D) has filed a bill — SB 2 — that would decriminalize marijuana possession by making possession of one ounce or less punishable by a maximum civil fine of $50. Under current law, simple possession of marijuana carries up to a $500 fine and 30 days in jail. You can check out our one-pager on decriminalization in Virginia here.
Decriminalization has gained increasing support from both elected officials and Virginians. Just last week, Gov. Ralph Northam (D) put decriminalization at the top of his 2020 criminal justice agenda.
This move is long overdue. Virginia is currently lagging behind the 26 states that have stopped jailing their residents for marijuana possession.
Please email your lawmakers today and ask them to decriminalize cannabis in 2020. Then, share this message with your friends and family in Virginia and encourage them to do the same.
The Virginia General Assembly convened to kick off its 2019 legislative session on Wednesday, and several efforts are being made to reform the state's marijuana policies.
Two bills, HB2079 and SB997, have been introduced to decriminalize marijuana, making simple possession a civil fine of $50 for a first violation instead of an offense punishable by up to 30 days in jail. Gov. Ralph Northam (D) also pushed for marijuana decriminalization in his State of the Commonwealth speech.
Twenty-three states and Washington, D.C. have stopped jailing their residents for possession of modest amounts of marijuana, and 10 of those states and D.C. have legalized marijuana for individuals over 21. Polling has shown that almost eight out of 10 Virginia residents support replacing criminal convictions with a fine, and 62 percent favor ending marijuana prohibition all together.
Contact your lawmakers today and urge them to make marijuana policy reform a priority in 2019. Then, share this message with your friends and family in Virginia.