Virginia Lawmakers Send Marijuana Decriminalization Bill To Governor’s Desk

Virginia Lawmakers Send Marijuana Decriminalization Bill To Governor’s Desk

Virginia lawmakers gave final approval to legislation to decriminalize marijuana possession on Sunday, sending it to the governor’s desk. After both chambers of the legislature passed similar but separate versions of the reform proposal last month, they convened a conference committee to resolve differences between their bills. Following a reconciliation in the language, the House of Delegates voted 56-36 to approve the final version and the Senate approved it by a 27-12 tally. Gov. Ralph Northam (D) is supportive of decriminalization and is expected to sign it into law. When the new policy goes into effect, possession of up to one ounce of cannabis will be punishable by a $25 fine and no threat of jail time. Under current law, simple possession is punishable by a maximum $500 fine and up to 30 days in jail. While the decriminalization measures were previously amended in committee to remove provisions to seal records of prior marijuana convictions, that was reinserted in conference. And late on Saturday, lawmakers made a last-minute addition of provisions to allow for expungements of civil infractions related to cannabis. Advocates have spent months helping to advise on the legislation, urging lawmakers to pass as compassionate a cannabis possession policy as possible. “This long overdue victory comes after years of sustained effort by Virginia NORML and its members,” Jenn Michelle Pedini, executive director of Virginia NORML, said in a press release. “A supermajority of Virginians have for many years opposed the continued criminalization of personal possession, and the legislature…

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Source : MJ moment
Link to original : Virginia Lawmakers Send Marijuana Decriminalization Bill To Governor’s Desk
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