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General Assembly - Feb. 10, 2020

From the state capitol in Richmond, I’m Craig Carper.

The House of Delegates has passed a bill that would decriminalize the simple possession of marijuana. 

Currently people can face 30 days in jail and up to a 500 dollar fine for possessing cannabis in Virginia. As national attitudes toward marijuana continue to soften, some advocates are pushing for total legalization of the drug. Though a majority of lawmakers believe that change would be too much too soon. 

Democratic Delegate Don Scott of Portsmouth.

“To do nothing as I’ve heard people say is better than doing something. I think that is cray-cray. I think that is ridiculous. We have to do something and I think this gets us in the right posture madame speaker to continue to study this as we move toward legalization.” 

Under the bill a 25 dollar civil penalty would still apply for possession of more than half an ounce. 

The bill passed 64 to 34 with bipartisan support. Governor Ralph Northam has made decriminalization a priority for this session. The Senate is scheduled to vote on the bill tomorrow.  

Lawmakers are still trying to determine what action, if any, they will take this year to make marijuana convictions easier to expunge. 

For Assembly 20, I’m Craig Carpe


VPM News is the staff byline for articles and podcasts written and produced by multiple reporters and editors.
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