Virginia has simply decriminalized marijuana. Which means the next:
Leafly StaffApril 13, 2020
A small amount of weeds now cost $ 25 in Virginia, but you still can't buy licensed lab-tested products in a legal market. (AdobeStock)
The Attorney General of Virginia, Mark Herring, says the state will become "fairer, fairer, and more equal" once marijuana ownership is decriminalized.
Democratic governor Ralph Northam signed the decriminalization law over the weekend. During his November 2017 campaign, Northam pledged to decriminalize possession of small amounts of cannabis.
Attorney General Herring pleaded for full legalization, but a measure to legalize marijuana did not find enough support in the state parliament earlier this year.
Gov. Northam stuck to his election promise and saw that a decline was finally recorded during this legislative period. "We are a nation of laws and punishments appropriate to those who violate those laws," Northam said earlier this year. "But it is of no use to anyone if these punishments are too severe. Justice should be tempered with compassion. "
US $ 25 fine instead of arrest
The new law eliminates the lawsuit for simple possession of marijuana and provides a $ 25 civil penalty. A working group will also be set up to study the effects of cannabis legalization and eventually publish a report on the subject.
Supporters have argued that the measure is partly necessary because African Americans are disproportionately charged with drug crimes.
"Decriminalization is an incredibly important first step that many thought we might never see in Virginia, but we can't stop until we have legal and regulated adult use," Herring said in a statement.
Decrim as a half measure
Decriminalization is viewed by many advocates of social justice as an imperfect half-step, as the police can continue to use marijuana possession as an excuse to stop and search colored people.
Previous studies have shown that whites consume, buy and sell as much marijuana as colored people. But nationally, African Americans are arrested four times more often than whites for property. In some regions, this disparity extends up to 10 times.
Attention buyers in a decimated condition
By decriminalizing cannabis, consumers are also exposed to the illegal market, where product quality remains completely unknown and the simplest transaction remains an illegal act.
The outbreak of VAPI lung disease last year, in which 68 people died and nearly 3,000 were hospitalized, was caused by illegal cannabis vape cartridges contaminated with vitamin E oil. These contaminated cartridges were not sold by licensed stores in the rule of law because government regulations require product testing and a full label review.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Marijuana decriminalization virginia
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