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Virginia’s marijuana decriminalization bill is one step closer to becoming law

Posted at 6:07 PM, Jan 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-30 22:33:23-05

RICHMOND, Va. — A bill that would decriminalize marijuana and hashish oil for adults in Virginia has passed out of the Senate Judiciary committee and is now one step closer to becoming law.

Specifically, SB. 2 would decriminalize “simple possession” of marijuana flower and oil and provide a civil penalty of no more than $50.  Current law imposes a maximum fine of $500 and a maximum 30-day sentence for a first offense.

According to the bill,  suspended sentences, substance abuse screening programs and drivers license suspension still apply to civil violations by those under 18-years-old, meaning that juveniles could face consequences for possession.

The bill also raises the threshold for the offense of “distribution” or “possession with intent to distribute” from one-half ounce to once ounce and allows a previously convicted person to petition for expungement of convictions.