Virginia Governor Rejects Part Of Marijuana Bill Ending Drivers License Suspensions

Virginia Governor Rejects Part Of Marijuana Bill Ending Drivers License Suspensions

Virginia’s governor approved a marijuana decriminalization bill on Saturday, though he submitted a series of recommended amendments for the legislature to consider before it is formally enacted. One of the changes Gov. Ralph Northam (D) wants is to delete language voicing opposition to a federal statute encouraging states to automatically suspend the drivers license of individuals convicted of any drug-related offense. The federal statute, which prompted a slew of states to adopt the penalty for fear of losing out on federal highway funds, stipulates that states must enact laws requiring drivers license suspensions for a minimum of six months for drug convictions, including for charges unrelated to driving, and that the governor must submit a written certification of compliance. However, there’s a provision allowing states to proactively opt-out, and the Virginia legislature intended to trigger that as part of the cannabis decriminalization bill. The legislation includes a “resolution of the General Assembly in expressing its opposition” and stipulates that the governor should submit “the necessary certifications” to make clear that Virginia will no longer abide by the federally imposed penalty mandate. Reform advocates aren’t sure why that amendment was proposed, though Virginia is one of only six states—along with Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Michigan and Texas—that continue to suspend drivers licensees for drug convictions that have nothing to do with operating a motor vehicle. Marijuana Moment reached out to the offices of the governor, attorney general and lead Senate sponsor of the decriminalization bill for comment, but representatives did not respond…

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Source : MJ moment
Link to original : Virginia Governor Rejects Part Of Marijuana Bill Ending Drivers License Suspensions
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