Virginia Legislature Considers Decriminalizing Marijuana

NORML is pleased to announce that House Bill 1134 (View Here), which seeks to amend marijuana possession and cultivation offenses, has been pre-filed for the 2010 legislative session. This measure amends present criminal marijuana penalties in several ways.

1. The bill would reduce minor marijuana possession penalties from a criminal misdemeanor, punishable by up to 30 days in jail, to a civil infraction punishable by a fine-only.

2. The bill would create a rebuttable presumption that a person who grows no more than five marijuana plants grows marijuana for personal use and not for distribution, an offense punishable by a $500 civil penalty. Under present law, marijuana cultivation in any amount is classified as a felony offense, punishable by between 5 and 30 years in jail and a $10,000 fine.

3. The bill removes the two-year mandatory sentence for those found guilty of the distribution of less than one ounce of marijuana. House Bill 1134 also removes the the five-year mandatory minimum sentence for those found guilty of the distribution of more than one ounce of marijuana.

4. The bill also raises the quantities necessary for punishment of possession with intent to distribute so as not to punish amounts that may be possessed for personal use.

Passage of HB 1134 would spare minor marijuana offenders from criminal arrest and incarceration, as well as the emotional and financial hardships that follow. The measure would allow also law enforcement, prosecutors, and the courts to re-allocate their existing resources toward activities that will more effectively target serious criminal behavior and keep the public safe.

Please contact your state representative and urge him or her to support HB 1134. For your convenience, a pre-written letter will be e-mailed to your state House member when you enter your contact information below.

Thank you for your support of NORML’s marijuana law reform efforts in Virginia.

– Article from NORML.

Comments

9 Comments

  1. Anonymous on

    I hate you…so, so much.

  2. Anonymous on

    and not one canadian had anything to do with it, or funds or anything they are not part of our plan that did NOT FAIL!! you have not a thing to do with this! stick with yiour own country news there limey if we wanted your bullshit, we whould of NOT kisk the crown ASS and threw the bitch out! Like WE DID kick your asses once before looks like we have to do it again? you fagget limeys hope a polar bear eat ya you fucks!!once pussies your all pussies!! and the world knows it cant wait until all the mintories of the world gets all you europeans the arabs the blacks the wetbacks(as you call them) ARE ALL ON OUR SIDE waiting to end your white world?//…soon very soon

  3. Anonymous on

    Decriminalization is one a small step in the continued path of wasting money and time. There is still a record if the fine and can still be detrimental to those who are caught in the snare of the Gov. ………… LEgalization is the only way to go which will have a possitive effect on society. and to anyone who thinks we should have pot sold in stores with alcohol, your a fool, and only accepting a shift of the governments ability to reachingto our lives with a strangle hold with one hand instead of the other. Now treating it as beer, maybe a different story.

    This Youtube video explains it quite well

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kG4YzkHjIPo

  4. NoKaOi on

    I agree. Current Virginia law needs to be re-written and this is a good start. At least, it’s movement in the right direction. I don’t think dropping “F” bombs on Virginia as a previous poster did, does any good for anybody and just reflects his/her immaturity.

  5. Anonymous on

    great news good to know that there is a need for change of such draconian law that target non-violent peaceful cannabis smokers.

  6. Anonymous on

    I would rather smoke legal marijuana medically, than smoke medical marijuana legally. The results have been in for 35+ years (Shafer Commission Report, c.1972) — marijuana is safer than alcohol, let alone tobacco.

    Legalize it. Regulate it. Tax it, like alcohol. Hell’s bells, treat marijuana just like alcohol, and sell it in State ABC Stores. How many small farmers in Virginia could save their family farms by growing marijuana? And it isn’t just for smoking, either …

  7. Anonymous on

    It’s not the answer to the problem of prohibition in Virginia but is a step foward in the right direction. While it may die, it is still quite a progess made for I and other herbalists in Virginia