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Va.: Urge Gov. Northam to fix the legalization bills

Mar 03, 2021

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Virginia must not criminalize “importing” small amounts of cannabis — write the governor today!

The Virginia House and Senate deserve a round of applause for completing work on the adult-use legalization bills and advancing them to Gov. Ralph Northam’s desk. Although we are disappointed by the fact that cannabis will not become legal until January 2024, we are pleased that the final bill does not criminalize sharing of cannabis between adults or increase penalties for public consumption and underage possession.

Unfortunately, both bills still include one very bad provision that would criminalize bringing small amounts of cannabis into the Commonwealth from another jurisdiction. Both HB 2312 and SB 1406 would create a new criminal penalty, punishable by up to a year in jail, for entering Virginia with less than five pounds of cannabis. The bills do not include an exception for one ounce or less of cannabis.

Gov. Northam is expected to ask the legislature for amendments to the bill, so we are urging him to seek an amendment to this provision. Bringing one ounce or less of cannabis into Virginia for personal use should not be a criminal offense, and it needs to be exempted from this new penalty.

Please write Gov. Ralph Northam today and encourage him to request an amendment to this provision. If you use Twitter, please also consider re-tweeting MPP’s tweet to Gov. Northam, or adding your own tweet to ask him to fix the law and avoid re-criminalizing cannabis consumers.

MPP has sent Gov. Northam a letter urging him to request this amendment. To read it, click here.

After you write Gov. Northam, please share this message with your friends and family.