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Advocates to lobby for marijuana legalization

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Posted at 8:28 PM, Jan 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-19 11:45:12-05

RICHMOND, Va. –Advocates for marijuana policy reform will come to Richmond for a conference on Sunday and Monday to push for legislation that would decriminalize simple possession of marijuana by adults as well as expand medical access to the drug.

The Virginia 2018 Cannabis Conference is organized by National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. The Washington-based nonprofit works throughout the country to push for decriminalization of marijuana, which it says would undercut the black market for the drug.

Jenn Michelle Pedini, president of NORML’s Virginia chapter, stated in an email that the organization works to reform all marijuana laws so that responsible use by adults is no longer subject to penalty.

The keynote speaker will be John Hudak, author of “Marijuana: A Short History.” Hudak is deputy director of the Center for Effective Public Management at the Brookings Institution.

Closing remarks will be made by Del. Ben Cline, a Republican from Rockbridge County, and by NORML’s national outreach director, Kevin Mahmalji.

The speakers will prepare the attendees for a day of lobbying at the state Capitol on Monday. The marijuana legalization advocates will hold meetings with legislators in the morning and then attend the sessions of the Senate and House.

By Siona Peterous/Capital News Service

Capital News Service is a flagship program of VCU’s Robertson School of Media and Culture. Students participating in the program provide state government coverage for Virginia’s community newspapers and other media outlets, under the supervision of Associate Professor Jeff South.