Va.: General Election results increase momentum for marijuana policy reform
Both chambers of the Virginia Legislature flipped in Tuesday’s General Election. Democrats now hold the majority in the state Senate and House of Delegates going into the 2020 legislative session. Marijuana reform efforts have stalled in previous legislatures, but with new leadership, there is new opportunity.
Now is a great time to let your lawmakers know you want them to make marijuana policy reform a priority in 2020.
There has been increasing momentum from elected officials — including Attorney General Mark Herring, Governor Ralph Northam, and Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment (R) — to decriminalize marijuana possession.
Polling has also shown that 76 percent of Virginians support decriminalizing marijuana possession and 61 percent support ending marijuana prohibition altogether.
It is past time for Virginia to reform its marijuana laws to stop criminalizing marijuana consumers. In 2018, police agencies reported nearly 29,000 marijuana arrests. Under current law, a simple marijuana possession charge is punishable by a $500 fine and up to 30 days in jail.
Please urge your lawmakers to decriminalize or legalize cannabis in 2020. Then, forward this message to your family and friends in Virginia.
P.S.: If you have suffered from a marijuana possession arrest and are interested in getting more involved in marijuana policy reform efforts in Virginia, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.