Virginia: Decriminalization is close to crossing the finish line!
Virginia is very close to becoming the 27th state to decriminalize marijuana!
This week, both chambers of the General Assembly passed similar decriminalization bills. Now, the legislature will have to reconcile the differences in the two bills before a final bill heads to Gov. Ralph Northam's desk. Gov. Northam — who has made decriminalization a top priority in 2020 — is likely to sign the bill into law.
The Senate decriminalization bill, SB 2, cleared the Senate yesterday (27-13). The bill would make possession of up to an ounce of marijuana punishable by a $50 civil fine and increase the threshold for charges for sales and possession with intent to distribute from half an ounce to one ounce.
Meanwhile, the House version, which was approved by the House (64-34), would make simple possession a civil penalty punishable by a $25 fine and allow criminal records for marijuana possession to be sealed.
The move to decriminalize marijuana in Virginia is long overdue. Under current law, marijuana possession is a criminal offense punishable by up to 30 days in jail and/or up to a $500 fine.
Help seal the fate of decriminalization in 2020 by contacting your lawmakers today. Then, share this message with your friends and family in Virginia and encourage them to do the same.